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The Story Of 

By Puran Singh 

The St r y Of Swami Ra m a 

The Poet Monk of the Punjab 


The lights shone down the street 
In the long blue close of day; 
A boy's heart beat sweet, sweet. 
As it flowered in its dreamy clay. 

Beyond the dazzling throng 
And above the towers of men 
The stars made him long, long. 
To return to their lights again. 

They lit the wondrous years 
And his heart within was gay; 
But a life of tears, tears. 
He had won for himself that day 

A. E. 

The Story Of Swami Rama 


All Intoxicated with 

The Joys of Self-Realisation 

The Story Of Swami Rama 


























The Story Of Swami Rama 


My thanks are due to R. S. Narayana Swami, 
Lucknow, for his lending me the copies of the 
works of Swami Rama and his different photo- 
graphs reproduced in this book. The cuttings from 
the American press which Swami Narayana had so 
carefully preserved are now reproduced to bring in 
clear relief the scheme that Swami Rama had then 
evolved in America, for the emancipation of India 
from "Caste" which is now popularly known as 
"untouchability". I take this opportunity of 
thanking the friends who kindly looked through 
the proofs. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 


WHAT can be the materials for the biography of a 
man who was silent on the secret of his joyous life 
like a lotus that springs up from its humble hidden 
birth-place, and bursts forth into the glory of its 
own blossom? And what can be his biography but 
that whoever happened to see him, a flower 
amongst men, stood for a while, looking at him, 
and having looked at him full, went past him, 
deeply suspecting the existence of golden lands 
beyond this physical life, whose mystic glimpses 
shone on his smiling face. This full blown lotus 
refused to give any further details of the story of 
his life, though much to the agitation of many a 
soul, he kept on flaunting the perfume of his soul 
in air. 

Swami Rama was essentially an apostle of the life 
of the spirit, whose daily food was the Simirani of 
the name of God — Om. All who knew him saw 
that he was one who had lost himself in the Lord 
His repetition of this spiritual Mantram sounded 
like a river of song flowing out of him. It is written 

' Simiran means the continual repetition of the sacred word; 
meditation; spiritual concentration. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

that this Simiran is assuredly a sign of inspiration; 
it is God's favour. Swami Rama had completely 
disentangled himself from the meshes of the 
world-net and soared like a bird in the higher 

A rough pencil-sketch of this inspired personality 
with whom I first came in contact at Tokyo is given 
in the following pages in the form of impressions, 
as it is evidently impossible to trace an authentic 
history of the development of his mind and his 
secret love-making with Krishna, God. 

It was quite natural for him to rise to the heights of 
love and call to himself all so feelingly - "I am He" 
"I am God". But this call in his case was more 
devotional than philosophical. The stormy passion 
of Swami Rama, his tears of ecstasy, his poetic joys 
with beauty, his lyrical realization of unity with the 
people who came around him, his broad human 
sympathy, — were all quite different from the dry, 
academic, wooden, unmoving, rigid indifference of 
a Vedantic philosopher; his little heart beat in 
harmony with the rhythm of life itself and the 
sorrow and joy alike of humanity were his own. 

The Story Of Swami Rama 

One who would look more closely into his writings 
would find that the term " Vedanta " as used by 
Swami Rama has a meaning different from what is 
generally given to it; it is more or less his own 
devotion to Krishna or God-Self, blazing up into 
songs of pantheistic colour. The spirit of his 
Vedanta, however, was fed by the spirit of the 
Punjab of Guru Gobind Singh, and further 
strengthened by the songs of self-affirmation of the 
adepts like Shams Tabrez and other Persian 
Masters* All that contributed to the continuous 
burning of the inner flame of his divine life, he 
made his own. He used the literature of the whole 
world - East and West - for winning the inner 
freedom for himself. His "Aliph," an Urdu 
periodical that he issued from Lahore, was the 
chief vehicle of his rhapsodic writings in which he 
set in his gem-like collections from Persian, 
Punjabee, English and Sanskrit literatures. It is the 
characteristic symbol of his all-embracing mind, his 
keen feeling of oneness with the past and the 

He sinks his sentences into tears. He drowns his 
thoughts in ecstatic cries. He disarms criticism by 
tenderly diffusing himself into the being of his 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

critic. He wins his enemies by a song of love in 
which he calls him his own self. He enchants the 
very air around himself with his bird-like speech 
that was all poetry, all music. His body was a lake 
which trembled seeing the Sun entering into its 
depths. He confounds logic by his divine madness. 
He contradicts himself in a thousand ways in his 
self-intoxication which alone is both his creed and 

His over strung emphasis on the idea — " I am God" 
- at times jars on one's ears, introduced as it is so 
abruptly into a charming atmosphere of love- 
making with gods. In one sentence he asks us to 
love God, and in the next he suddenly throws out 
the effigy of "God" from the idol-worshippers 
temple and sets himself in God's place. It is 
difficult to follow him, for one needs the madness 
of his joy, his glowing passion and his inspiration 
to rise above all imperfections of all such 
expressions of the Inexpressible. 

He is concerned with the joy of it all, with being 
God and with nothing else. No doubt, this man 
tried to give the secret of his success, but whatever 
he wished to say was blown away like a dry 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

autumn leaf in the tempest of his own bosom and 
he ended in screams and cries! A truly eloquent 
apostle of the Life of the Spirit! He pitched himself 
against the half-life of disbelief and fear. He said " I 
see fractions of men, not men. I wish men were 
whole. Wholeness is holiness." 

As a student he worked against stupendous odds 
with the will of a conqueror, with the devotion of a 
satee - woman and with the labour of a galley- 
slave. Though hungry he would rather deny 
himself an extra loaf of bread and buy instead 
more oil for his midnight lamp. And for years, his 
hunger for knowledge was divine. 

As a poet he ran wild and naked with the joy of his 
feelings as he saw them welling up, swallowing in 
silence the glory of the pure. He would bare his 
body and lie senseless in the open for hours to be 
bathed by the Sun, to be wiped by the winds. He 
lived with the poetic spirit of Nature, and he was 
on terms of great intimacy with her. He would not 
sit to shape his gold or set his gems or polish his 
rubies into any complex work of art. It seems, his 
thought and feelings in their original shape and 
colour, had in them the perfection of soul. Never 

The Story Of Swami Rama 

mind the outward forms 1 His art was simple; it 
concerned itself with the creation of joy within 
himself and in others. With Hafiz and Omar 
Khayam he sat in the Sacred Tavern of his brother- 
mystics drinking cups of wine one after another. 
Tipsy and self-oblivious he went searching for God 

On his return from America, he tried to see things 
somewhat in the new-learnt fashion of that 
country, chiseling his sentences and speeches, 
improving the mechanics of his language and 
thought, thereby virtually modifying his 
inspiration. The bliss of soul rises always like a sea; 
in its tempest all mechanical calculations are 
confounded. His main theme was the actual 
creation of joy for himself and for distribution. 
Alas, if he took to writing essays! One would have 
loved to see the Swami as he glowed supreme in 
his own inner joy rising above both man and 
nature; to see such a man doing something 
mechanical is nothing short of the disaster of an 
extraordinary personality that one rarely sees in 
men like Swami Rama. But these are the 
temptations of the world. His address " Secret of 
Success " reproduced in this book has in its naive 
simplicity a divine correspondence with the 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

exaltation of his mind as he first descended from 
the glaciers of the Himalayas to the plains at 
Lucknow, while his " Law of Crucifixion " (written 
after his return from America) has in it the odour 
of the sublime depression that comes to people like 
him when they overspend themselves in 
distributing the inner joy. Alas! The Swami had 
spent away the power in preaching his u Vedanta" 
to the people of the lowlands. In the purity of his 
joy there was no room for the sadness of self- 

Some of his selections from the literatures of the 
East and the West as in " Aliph " and of his letters 
to one Dhanna Mai of Gujranwala, a guide and 
friend of his when he was yet in his teens, and 
other notes left by him are at places given in 
extenso as the best autobiographical notes of such 
as he. His true biography is in his actions on the 
mental plane. 

His letters throw a flood of light on the hopes and 
aspirations of the Punjabi students in those times* 
Also, a side-light leads one to the blind end of the 
stone wall which usually meets the Indian 
graduates after they leave their college. How 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

difficult indeed must it have been for others (and it 
is still so) when a brilliant graduate like Swami 
Rama had to be driven from pillar to post for a job 
in those days when the Universities were not half 
so busy as now in minting a certain brand of 
graduates! To rise to an Extra Assistant 
Commissionership, a low, stupid Government 
post, was the height of the ambition of the Punjabi 
young man then, and is perhaps the same even 
now. But we find Swami Rama so loved his pet 
subject— Mathematics — that even at the invitation 
of his Professors he could not forego the profession 
of a teacher and a missionary for the mere shadows 
of the false dignity of Government service* This 
fervent spirit of teaching what he had learnt is 
remarkable and it exhibited itself involuntarily 
throughout his meteoric career. 

His singular devotion to this little Dhanna of 
Gujranwala who did, in some measure, help him 
when he was a student in the High School, shows 
the great disciple that was in him. Unruffled, 
unvexed under various physical and mental 
strains, self-sacrifice is his one solution for every 
difficulty. To think of God and to meet Him in 
everything and in every man is his faith and 


The Story Of Swami Rama 


We see his extraordinary fondness of soHtude and 
hard incessant work. And how disappointing in 
those days, to him, was the empty-hearted show of 
welcome on the part of the meaningless crowds of 
Lahore, who vied with each other in honouring 
Dada Bhai Naoroji! And how senseless sounded 
the jingle of political orations of the denationalized 
congressmen of those days to this humble boy of 
Lahore clad in simple khaddar! And living on a 
few annas a day, sometimes on only one anna a 

Swami Rama educated himself into a free man, 
while all others here in this country go the way of 
slavery. The colleges in India are breeding houses 
for slaves whose ambition of Government service 
ends in the unavoidable national vice of being 
slaves. Here was a young Punjabi, a free man, who 
was welcomed and honoured in Japan and 
America, wherever he went, as an equal brother of 
all. Everywhere thousands listened to him with a 
respect worthy of a living sage of ancient India. He 
is one of those few rare Indians who have worked 
and served to raise the ideals of their race in the 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

estimation of the world of to-day. He struck 
Professor Taka Kussu of Tokio as a True Indian 
Yogi who explained both Buddhism and Vedanta 
in his person. He struck Professor James of 
America as a spiritual genius who lived in a centre 
outside of his body. 

In this idle country where the mind is not at rest, 
where the hands are not at incessant work, where 
religion is superstition, where religious practice is 
barren ritual, where racial pride dwells still in self- 
flattery of a spiritual glory that belonged to its 
ancestors long dead, where the mind indolently 
thinks more of the past than of the future, Swami 
Rama comes next to Swami Vivekananda in 
reminding the people of India to rise from empty 
idle dreams and take to incessant work to win the 
freedom which is the fruit not of conquest over 
others but over one's self. 


May, 1924. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 



WE all met him first as a monk, and it is best to 
present him as a monk, before one proceeds more 
intimately with the story of his early life. Enough 
here to say that, born in 1873, he turned a monk in 
1901, he left for Japan and America in 1902, 
returned in 1905 and died in 1906, at the early age 
of thirty-three. 

When he reached San Francisco, the local 
newspapers recorded, as below, the very first 
impressions he made on the people there; he had 
gone there fresh from the Himalayas, clad in his 
orange robe, a symbol of the divine fire that 
glowed within him. 

The old order of things is to be reversed. Out of 
the jungles of Upper India has come a man of 
astonishing wisdom, a prophet, philosopher, a 
scientist and priest, who proposes to play the role 
of missionary in the United States, and preach a 
new doctrine of unselfishness and spiritual power 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

to the idolatrous worshippers of the mighty dollar. 
He is a Brahmin of the Brahmins, a Goswami of the 
highest caste, and h& is known among his brothers 
as Swami Rama. 

This remarkable sage of the Himalayas is a 
slender, intellectual young man, with the ascetic 
mould of a priest and the light complexion of a 
high-caste Brahmin. His forehead is broad and 
high, his head splendidly developed, his nose thin 
and delicate as a woman's. A wide, kindly, almost 
lender mouth parts freely over dazzlingly white 
perfect teeth in a smile that seems to light up all 
surrounding space and wins the instantaneous 
confidence and good-will of all who come within 
the circle of the radiance. "How do I live?" he said 
yesterday. "That is simple. I do not try. I believe. I 
attune my soul to the harmony of love for all men. 
That makes all men to love me, and whore love is, 
there is no want, no suffering. This state of mind 
and faith bring influence to me that supplies my 
needs without the asking. If I am hungry, there is 
always someone to feed me. I am forbidden to 
receive money or to ask for anything. Yet I have 
everything, and more than most, for I live largely 
in a world that few can attain." 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Under the heading, "A Hindu EvangeHst," a 
Portland paper wrote: 

Small, slight, with dark eager bright, eyes, and 
olive skin, attired in a black suit, wearing at all 
times a brilliant red turban, this is Swami Rama. 
This is the man from India now in Portland. Not a 
man from India 

Men from India not infrequently reach this Port. 
But seldom if ever has any of such learning, such 
broad human sympathies, such unselfish motives, 
arrived here. 

Before he had gone to Japan and America, he 
presided twice at a miniature kind of Parliament of 
Religions in India organised by Swami Shiv Guna 
Acharya at the Shanti Ashram, Muthra, and the 
impression recorded then by "The Freethinker** of 
Lahore runs as follows: 

. . . Every man's man, thoughtful and serious, lively 
and severe by turns, keeping the whole audience 
composed of heterogeneous shades of opinions 
spellbound, as it were, for hours together, until late 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

in the evening. He is a quiet, modest unassuming 
young man, in the heyday of youth, well versed in 
ancient and modern philosophy as well as in 
modern sciences, and is withal made of a stuff of 
which persons of honest convictions ought to be 
made. Gentle and amicable, childlike, innocent in 
manners and behaviour, he yet has the iron hand 
inside the silken glove, for while scrupulously 
regardful of the feelings of others, he is far more 
outspoken in expressing his opinions . . . 

The effect of his presence was marvellous, his joy 
was infectious, his ideas still more so, and above all 
his recitation of OM. Every religious seeker who 
came to him, began reciting OM. To see him was to 
begin, as it were, one's life anew. All meanness and 
smallness of mind vanished, and the man was 
lifted up. A new, an altogether transcendental 
outlook on life, flew, as it were, from his eyes to the 
eyes of those who came under the spell of his 
happiness and dream. 

He was gay like a wild bird. He leapt like a fawn; 
never, so to say, was he seen walking with the slow 
and tardy pace of the common man. When his 
secretary, I believe Miss Taylor, took him to the 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Manager of the Great Pacific Railroad Company, 
San Francisco, to get his tickets on concession rates 
to New York, the Manager said: "Him? To him I 
offer the Pullman car free. His smiles are so 

When I took him to the house of Baron Naibo 
Kando in Tokyo, the latter, in the middle of the 
conversation, got up and went in and brought his 
wife and children, and apologisingly said: "Excuse 
me! I could not have this unusual joy without 
sharing it with my wife and children". When 
Naibo Kando asked him "Why did you renounce 
your family?" Swami Rama replied: Only to seek a 
larger one and share my joy with the whole world." 
At the large gathering of the Religious League at 
St. Louis Exhibition, the local newspapers wrote 
that the only bright spot in the gathering was 
Swami Rama. He would laugh and laugh for 
minutes together in his informal talks, in reply to 
some philosophical and theological questions, and 
say nothing in reply, as if saying that this beaming, 
bubbling personality was enough reply to all the 
pretentious enquiries about man and God. 

I had the pleasure of taking him to Mr. (now Dr.) 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Khudadad, a graduate of the Punjab University at 
Hardwar, and as I introduced hint to the Swami, 
the latter said: "Why bring such people to me? 
They are already formed in the fashion of Rama, 
Rama has nothing to teach them," and the Swami 
filled the interview with his brilliant smiles. 

He said: "Rama does not understand your name. 
Khuda (God), Dad (Given), it ought to have been 
only Khuda, God. Dr. Khudadad replied: "For 
those who have eyes this, for others that." This 
reply delighted him immensely. After months, 
when I met Dr. Khudadad again, he had 
condensed the Swami's whole life in an Urdu 
couplet of his composition: 

O Swami Rama! How mysterious is thy smile. 
The secret of life is manifest therein. 

His joy played with words, as a child plays with 

For example, note his play with his own name. At 
Tokyo, he said to me when I failed to catch his 
third-person description of himself as "Rama": 
"Look here, just as the order of life is changed, 
from a householder to a monk, from the world to 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

God, so the order of names of this body (meaning 
himself) is reversed. In pre-monk days, it wxas 
Tirath Rama now it is Rama Tirath" Later on, he 
deleted playfully the little 'i' out of the last word, 
and began signing himself as "Rama Truth". He 
gave his whole thought to mental healing, when he 
said "Disease is only dis-ease". Be at ease with your 
God, with yourself and be whole, holy, and you 
cannot have any dis-ease. He changed atonement 
and always wrote and pronounced it as at-one- 
ment. He said understanding is standing under, 
diving deep into your own Real Self. He played 
with his title Swami. It is a Sanskrit word meaning' 
'Lord' and carries in it the sense of superiority over 
others. He spelt and pronounced Swami as So-am- 
I. He would write a letter and subscribe himself 

Rama Truth 

He played similarly with his Mantram, his 
continuous chant, the natural warble of this free 
bird. OM, he would say, is O'am; O is the Persian 
word which means He, M stands for I am— He I 
amor "I am God ". 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

He once said that God is neither Mr. nor Mrs. nor 
Miss but mystery. He did not Hke the hard sound 
of H' in the word Hindu, he always pronounced it 
as Indu — Moon. 

"Matlab," an Urdu word, is a great word he said. It 
means "object to be attained" — and it also means 
Mat— do not, lab — seek, Matlab is, do not seek. 

He saw in the Moslem festival of Id, after the 
Ramzan, their fast month, the great joy of the God- 
consciousness of the Prophet, He would say, 
"Mohammad saw the moon of his Id, the inner Id, 
of which seeing the crescent on the Id day is a mere 
symbol. What is it to me if I do not see the same 
moon of my own inner Id? " 

In Lahore, during the days of his Professorship, he 
played with his watch. Whether it was morning, 
noon, evening or midnight, whenever anybody 
asked him the time of day, he would seriously take 
out his watch, look at it intently, and then look at 
the face of the inquirer and just say:" Dear one, it is 
just one" and show him the watch. Those who 
happened to make this enquiry at different times 
asked him: " Goswamiji! Strange whenever we ask 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

you the time, you say it is just one*" "O Dear One, 
Rama's watch is such; it is always one by this 
watch." And he would laugh and pass. 

At Denver, he announced his lecture as ''Every day 
a New Year's Day, and every night a Xmas Night" 
and so startled the audience with the very 
announcement that there was long applause. So to 
say, he scattered his joy like a perfume in the 
choice of the titles of his lectures! 

It looks a little too fine an overdrawing of his own 
intellectual conceptions of life, but he always 
addressed his audience as' My own self in the form 
of Ladies and Gentlemen'. In the manner of the 
rapturous richness of self-realisation in India, he 
called himself "Rama Badshah" or the King Rama, 
and he stuck to it like a playful child, for he 
seriously refused at Port Said to travel on the same 
ship to India with Lord Curzon saying : "Two 
kings cannot travel in the same boat." He actually 
travelled by the next boat, cancelling his passage. 
He would repeat his favourite verses of Urdu and 
Persian in solemn accents, with eyes closed, and 
drops of ecstasy falling down his orange-coloured 
cheeks; he tasted the songs in a physical sense, he 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

pressed his upper lips to the lower and quaffed 
them. He would feel so intensely that his whole 
frame would vibrate with passion and he would 
raise his quivering arms to embrace the whole 
universe. He was seen losing himself in poetry for 
hours together. He would lose himself in the 
middle of his public lectures, repeating his sacred 
syllable OM (which to him meant God and the 
whole Universe) so much so that his American 
admirers observed him living most of the time 
outside his body. * He had really almost forgotten 
himself- As said above, he always referred to 
himself in the third person, his first person was 
God's own. And so natural was his third person 
coming from him, that one who saw him for the 
first time, did actually think that he was talking 
about some third person, not about himself. When 
I first met him, 

I did not understand his references to himself for 
hours, till he explained them to me in more explicit 

He drew out all the inner love of a man towards 
himself His touch roused even in dry hearts the 
emotions of a poet. He had the power which is 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

symbolically spoken of in Oriental literature as the 
power of love at the sight of which the dry gardens 
suddenly put forth new buds and vineyards 
become green. 

As he entered Japan, he said: 

Rama has nothing to teach these people They are 
all Vedantins. They are all Ramas, how cheerful, 
how happy, how quiet, how laborious. This is all 
that Rama calls life. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 



WHILE on board the ship, he was taken by the 
American passengers to be an American; the 
Japanese loved him as their own countryman. Mr. 
K. Hirai remarked after he had left Japan, "I see his 
smiles still floating in the air like plum flowers." 
Another artist who knew no English who heard his 
lecture in Tokyo on " The Secret of Success" in 
English, said, " It seemed to me he was a column of 
fire and his words the little live sparks that flew 

In Egypt he was given a welcome, by the Egyptians 
where he delivered a lecture in Persian in their 
own mosque. The paper next day described Swami 
Rama- as a Hindu genius, to meet whom was one 
of their greatest privileges. 

At Mathura, on his return from America, one 
morning, as the Pharisees around him pleaded for 
a new organisation in India to work out his ideas 
on nation-building, he shut his eyes in an ecstasy 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

of love, spread his arms trembling with love in 
token of a loving embrace, as he said: 

"I shall shower oceans of love; 
And bathe the world in joy; 
If any oppose, welcome, come! 
For I shall shower oceans of love 
All societies are mine, welcome, come. 
For I shall pour out floods of love' 

And he continued, 

"Tell them, I am theirs. I embrace all I exclude 
none- I am love. Love like light embraces 
everything with joy and its own splendour. Verily I 
am nothing but the flood and glory of love. I love 
all equally." 

His whole body trembled and trembled like a 
violin-string under the musician's fingers, 
whenever he spoke of God or man. If he were to be 
painted symbolically, his picture would be a white 
dove throbbing with the pain of some hidden 

When he was in a strange humour he would 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

visualise a bygone poet or philosopher and talk to 
him, as if he had come, and he would talk to him 
like an irresponsible joyous boy that had no 
reputation of any kind to look after*. His literary 
criticism was always affectionate and light* It was 
private and conversational, not studied and heavy. 
He would say: "What use was Shankara Acharya's 
hiding his own light under a bushel? He always 
quoted authorities* Well did Mohammad give the 
Truth on the authority of his own personal 
realisation. Allah hu Akbar Mohammad Rasul 

He loved the mountains and their solitudes. He 
lived in the densest forests of oaks and pines, and 
he walked out at the dead of night into pathless 
ravines and climbed the steep mountains like a 
child of nature, and glided into the very heart of 
things as the birds fly in the air. He was at his best 
when he walked in the Himalayan forests with his 
eyes half closed, looking askance at the mightiest 
potentates of the world. 

Even while in America he would run from his 
social engagements, as if the stuffy atmosphere of 
society choked his mind. He went up to live on the 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Shasta Mountains. So fond was he of hard labour 
that he would go to the forests and bring fuel for 
Dr. Hiller, his kind host. 

He enlisted himself, under his great intellectual 
necessity, amongst the apostles of the Advaita 
Vedanta as expounded by Shankara Acharya, but 
he preached it with his own intense emotion of a 
Vaishnava; he called himself God, but he strove all 
his life to realise the Divine, and having realised it 
to maintain it on a certain elevation that he had 
attained. He was never neglectful of his great 
remembrance of God, but always alert watching 
the effects of men and things on his Godly mood. " 
I contradict myself! Well! I contradict myself!" He 
called God the True Self, and in the words of 
Christ, proclaimed that one cannot have two things 
at the same time; either have Mammon, which he 
called the lower, little self of man, or have God, the 
Higher Self. No apparent contradiction of his 
theory and practice was visible in his own 
character for he was a strenuous labourer who 
gathered God with all his senses and filled his 
heart with the gladness of& "That Un-nameable 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

This striking poetic figure clad in orange robes 
disappeared from the Punjab in 1906. He 
successfully dropped the dirt of learning; and 
sought God in the dense forests and snows of the 
Himalayas, all bare, exposing his inner fire to the 
regions of the Himalayan solitudes to see if all the 
snows could bury the flame of his heart! In the 
close and loving embrace of Mother Nature, lived 
this divine Man. He went and sat up on the eternal 
snows of the Gangotri Glacier in Samadhi. His joy 
ordered 'Halt' to the snowstorm, and his smile tore 
the grey clouds to see its image in the sun. *' One 
with Nature," he said; ''Nature is my body. I could 
move the sinews of its soul as I move my limbs". 

A truly Vedic poet, with the full realisation of the 
Advaita, but by temperament and inheritance a 
Vaishnava in his highly cultivated emotion, he was 
in his fresh inspiration more a Persian than a 
Hindu, while in his later days, in a way, he 
succumbed to Shankaracharya's charming 
philosophy of 'Illusion' - "Maya". He would say, "If 
one realises Truth, even the physical body cannot 
drop, it becomes everlasting. Even Shankar was 
not a Brahmagnani. Yet in that sense the whole 
world is illusion, it never was. There is but one, 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

that is Truth, nothing else." 

He filled his surroundings with his own trance, 
and it seems the Past surrounded him as much as 
the Present and the Future. He always took up 
other people's songs and sang them with slight 
alterations, in his own name. It is the originality of 
dumb but living and original emotion whose deep 
silence makes every sweet sound of Nature its 
own. Have you ever listened to the black 
partridge's " Subhan Allah — God be praised," in 
deep forest solitude? It actually seems that it is the 
very voice of the listener himself. 

In the hot summer of Lahore, as he came walking 
along the blazing street-pavements, they who 
touched his feet found them quite cold. " I do not 
walk in hot Lahore; I wade everywhere through 
the nectarine waters of the Ganges whose silver 
waves touch my legs as I pass, and lave me with 
bliss," " Do not see Ganga flowing everywhere?" he 
asked. Always ecstatic with emotion, careless of 
bread and raiment, with tears flowing down in a 
limpid stream, the Swami, though in Lahore, lived 
in the swinging cradle of the stars, and espied in 
the blue sky the old Kadamb tree on whose 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

branches once Krishna sat and played on his flute. 
While bathing in the Ganges at Hardwar, he would 
lose all sense time and space in his meditative look 
on the tree, seeing with closed eyes the Lord 
Krishna, and hearing with shut ears the ancient 
music of His flute. He went mad with the music 
which no one of a thousand pilgrims bathing side 
by side with him in the icy crystal waters of Ganga 
ever heard. 

Wave after wave of ecstasy overwhelmed him and 
buried him in joy for days and days. When he went 
over to America from Japan on his world tour, he 
took turns on the deck of the steamer at San 
Francisco port as if the deck was his home. An 
American struck by his wondrous exuberance 
approached him and asked him why he was not in 
the usual haste of getting down. 

"Where is your luggage. Sir?" said the curious 


"I carry no luggage," said the Swami, "but what I 

have about me." 

"Where do you keep your money?" 

"I keep no money." 

"How do you live?" 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

"I only live by loving all. When I am thirsty there is 
always one with a cup of water for me, and when I 
am hungry, there is always one with a loaf of 

''But have you then any friends in America?'' 
"Ah, yes, I know but one American, you," said the 
Swami, touching his shoulder, and by his touch, 
the American realised, so to say, his old forgotten 
acquaintance with him and became his ardent 
admirer. This gentleman wrote: u Ho is a torch of 
knowledge hailing from the Himalayas, The fire 
can burn him not, the steel can cut him not Tears of 
ecstasy roll down his eyes and his very presence 
gives new life." 

An old American lady went to see Swami Rama in 
a private interview^ and recited her tale of 
domestic troubles to the Swami, and wept for 
hours before him, as he sat cross-legged with him 
eyes closed. She took him to be uncivil, when a 
lady was weeping and crying so bitterly and not a 
word of sympathy escaped his lips and not a kind 
look. The Swami sat before her listening yet 

'Mrs. Wellman - this lady met me in India and gave me her whole 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

unlistening like a stone statue. "These Indians are 
so impudent and proud." As the lady completed 
her story of woe, the Swami opened his eyes, 
looked at her with his red insane eyes and said 
"Mother," and then chanted his favourite Vedic 
Mantram, Om! Om! She said to me that there burst 
from his eyes upon her the strange dawn of a new 
consciousness. "I seemed to have been lifted," said 
she, "from the earth, I swam in air as a figure of 
light, and I felt myself the mother of the Universe. 
All countries were mine, all nations were my 
children. I was so filled with joy that I must visit 
India; I must see where Swami was born and bred. 
I must go. So I come. My joy never fails me. Oh! 
The word OM reverberates through my bones. The 
word 'mother' - it lifts me up to the Divine. I 
would fain touch his feet. I would fain lie dead in 
the ecstasy that he gave me. Some springs of nectar 
within me have burst up, the crust is broken and I 
am holy." 

At a lake resort in America (I forget the exact 
name) the Swami lived chanting Om, and his 
presence gave heart to many a weary patient who 
came there for sanatorium treatment, and many 
got their health back from him. 'A healer' they 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

called him. 

His letters are poems that hold in them the 
fragrance of his person, forming as they do the 
most interesting portion of the literature that 
stands against his name. 

Here is a letter written on Juno 11th, 1903, from 
Castle Springs, California, to a friend in India; it 
speaks, like a living messenger, of his characteristic 

On May 19th, while Rama was stretched on a boulder 
by the riverside, there was brought to Rama by the 
manager of Dr. Hillefs place here a very lovely 
hammock sent unexpectedly by a friend from Seattle. It 
was immediately suspended between a green oak and a 
red fir tree high up in the air. With bubbling joy and 
overflowing laughter, Rama rolled himself up into the 
hanging bed. The fragrant gentle breezes began to rock 
Rama to and fro, the river went on with its Om melody, 
Rama laughed and laughed and laughed. Did you hear 
him? A chirping robin was watching overhead when 
Rama was swaying back and forth. Perhaps he was 
envious of Rama. Was he ? No, that cannot be, every 
robin, sparrow, or nightingale knows Rama to be its 
own. At any rate when Rama left the hammock for a 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

while to let out the uncontrolled inner pleasure in 
frisking about and dancing, the pretty robin stole the 
sweet opportunity to try a swing in the hammock. Say, 
are not Ramans little birdies and flowers frolicsome, 
merry and free? 

May 20, Noon: The President of the United States on 
his way to the north stopped at the Springs awhile The 
representative lady of the Springs Company presented 
him with a basket full of lovely flowers and immediately 
after that he accepted from Rama most gracefully, 
lovingly and cheerfully the 'Appeal on behalf of India' . 
He kept the book in his right hand all the time and while 
responding with his right hand to the salutations of the 
crowds, the book naturally and spontaneously rose up to 
his forehead at least a hundred times. When the train 
started, he was seen reading it attentively in his carriage 
and once more he waved thanks to Rama from the 
leaving train. 

But lol Rama never invited the President to the luxury 
of enjoying a swing in the poetic hammock. Could you 
guess, why not? Do guess, please. Well, as you donH 
speak, Rama will tell you. The reason is plain enough. 
The President of the so called free Americans is not a 
thousandth part as free as Ramans birdies and the air. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Never mind the President. You can be free, even free as 
Rama, and have air and light as your faithful servants. 
Be Rama and Rama will give you all — suns, stars, air, 
ocean, clouds, forests, mountains and what not? 
Everything will belong to you. Is not that a lovely 
bargain? Isn' t it, dear? Do you have everything, please? 

At four in the morning, waked by the kisses of Aurora 
and tickled to laughter by free zephyrs, welcomed by the 
sweet songs of carolling birds, Rama goes out walking 
on the tops of mountains and the river side. 

Come, let us laugh together, laugh, laugh, and laugh. 
Come soon, my child, look into the fearless smiling eyes 
of Rama and live close to nature and Rama. The ecstasy 
itself is I. 

Swami Rama was a passionate lover of Nature. 
Whenever opportunity would permit he would fly 
to the hills and forests, as the eagle does to its 
mountain eyrie, there to meditate and draw health 
and inspiration from Nature's vast solitudes. 
Nature imparts of her healing power the most 
when man most fully yields himself up to her 
influence without either care or distraction. The 
Swami wrote the following letter to me from the 
Darjeeling forests. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Day passes into night, and night again turns into day, 
and here is your Rama having no time to do anything, 
very busy in doing nothing. Tears keep pouring vying 
well with the continuous rains of this the most rainy 
district; the hairs stand on end, the eyes wide open 
seeing nothing of the things before them. Talk stopped, 
work stopped unfortunately (?). No, most fortunately. 
Oh, leave me alone. 

This continuous wave after wave of inarticulate 
ecstasy — Love! Let it go on. O the most delicious pain! 

Away with writing. 

Off with lecturing. 

Out with fame and name. 

Honours? Nonsense. 

Disgrace ? Meaningless. 

Are these toys the end of life? 

Logic and science, poor bunglers! Let them see me and 
get their blindness cured. 

In dreams a sacred current flows. 
In wakefulness, it grows and grows. 
At times, it overflows the banks 
Of senses and the mortal frame. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

It spreads in all the world and flows. 

It inundates in wild repose. 

For this the Sun, he daily rose, 

For this the Universe did roll. 

All births and deaths for this. 

Here comes rolling, surging wonder, undulating 

Bliss, Here comes rolling laughter, silence 

And this letter he wrote from America 

August 10, 1903 

Under the canopy of starlit heaven 

In a natural garden 

On the hank of a Mountain stream* 


Your letter along with some other mail received 
just after coming back from a most pleasant trip to 
the top of Mount Shasta (14,444 ft altitude). 

Dear, Thou shalt absolutely do nothing. Set well 
thy house in order, open thy doors, let them stand 
wide for all to enter - thy treasures, let the poorest 
take of them ; then come thou forth to where I wait 
for thee. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Pass out— free — O joy! Free flow on, swim across 
in the sea of Equality! At one jerk snap asunder* 
break off all ties and duties, and stand glorious in 
Thy God-head. 

Look within, search within, you will always get the 
answers. Yourself is Rama. 

Writing about his personality in his introduction to 
the edition of his complete works^ in English, Mr. 
C. F. Andrews writes: 

There is a child-like simplicity in what he writes 
and an overflowing joy and happiness, won 
through great self-discipline and suffering, which 
reveals a soul that is at peace with itself and has 
found a priceless gift that it desires to impart to 
others. At the same time, there is on every page a 
definite refusal to appeal to those lower motives 
that are ordinarily urged as making for success in 
life and a determination to find the soul itself, 
apart from outward circumstances the secret of all 

^ In "Woods of God-Realisation published by the Swami Rama 
Tirath Publication League, Lucknow 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

true and lasting joy. 

He was not in the least one of those ascetics, who, 
in choosing the path of renunciation, seem to have 
left behind them all joy and happiness. He knew 
what physical hardship and endurance meant in a 
way that few can have experience of. But this did 
not embitter him or make his message one of 
harshness. On the contrary, the very titles of his 
lectures are sufficient to give a picture of the 
character of his own mind. "The happiness within" 
''How to make your homes happy" - such are the 
subjects that appeal to him and his heart goes out 
in every word as he tries to make his message 
clear; it is the message of his own experience not 
that of another's. He is full of happiness himself, 
which he wishes to give to the world and he is 
never so happy as when happiness is his subject. 

At one place, he draws his own picture as he sat 
once in America: 

Stretched beneath the cedars and pines, a cool 
stone serving for pillow, the soft sand for bed, one 
leg resting carelessly on the other, drinking fresh 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

air with the whole heart, kissing the glorious light 
with fullness of joy, singing OM, and letting the 
murmuring stream to keep time! 

— From his Forest Talks, 

Mr. C. F. Andrews says again in his "The 
Renaissance in India', 

Another personality, in many ways far more 
attractive than that of Vivekananda, carried on the 
same movement of the new Vedanta in the north* 
Swami Rama Tirath was a Brahman, brought up in 
extreme poverty at Lahore, where he gained his 
education at the Forman Christian College and 
became, after a brilliant University career, a 
Professor of Mathematics. His heart, however, was 
wholly given to religion and he left his College 
work to become a wandering monk and preacher. 
He went into the wildest regions of the Himalayas, 
where he lived alone with Nature. A vein of true 
poetry ran through his character, and his buoyant 
joyfulness of disposition carried him through the 
severest hardships and privations. I was asked by 
his disciple Swami Narayana to write an 
introduction to his public writings, and I did so 
with the greatest readiness; for the Christian note is 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

much stronger in them than in those of 
Vivekananda, Compare for instance, the following 
comments on the Lord's prayer with the mistake 
concerning the words 'which art in Heaven' that I 
have already quoted from Vivekananda's writings. 

"In the Lord's prayer," writes Swami Rama Tirath, 
"we say 'give us this day our daily bread' and in 
another place we say 'man shall not live by bread 
alone'. Reconsider these statements: understand 
them thoroughly. The meaning of the Lord's 
Prayer is not that you should be craving, wishing: 
not at all. The meaning of that prayer is such that 
even a king, an Emperor, who is in no danger of 
not having his daily bread, may offer it. If so, 
evidently * give us this day our daily bread ' does 
not mean that we should put ourselves in a 
begging mood that we should ask for material 
prosperity I: not that. The prayer means that 
everybody, let him be a prince, a king, a monk, is 
to look upon these things around him, all the 
wealth and plenty, as not his but God's: not mine, 
not mine. That does not mean begging, but 
renouncing, giving up; renouncing everything 
unto God. The king while he is offering that prayer 
puts himself into that mood where all the jewels of 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

his treasury, all the riches in his house, the house 
itself —all these he renounces, he gives them up, he 
disclaims them. He is, in offering this prayer, the 
monk of monks. He says 'this is God's: this table, 
everything on this table is His, not mine: I do not 
possess anything. Anything that comes to me 
comes from my Beloved One'. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 



His Fundamental Thoughts 

EVERY man who seeks after the Truth of Life, its 
labour and love, gathers a few ripe fruits of life in 
his basket; and if he is generous, he sits on the 
roadside and goes on distributing them to all who 
come to him, and often he goes to others who need 
them; but forever full is his basket of fruits, as 
forever he keeps on distributing them. Whether the 
story of a saint distributing a loaf of bread to 
hundreds of guests and yet having enough for 
more, be true or not, this basket of fruits that the 
loving and earnest enquirer after Life's meaning 
and true purpose carries about, can never be 

We have seen Swami Rama, the Monk, in his 
orange robe; now he should be pictured in this 
chapter as the gay fruit seller with his 
inexhaustible basket of fruits on his head, or as one 
sitting on the roadside, and his hands in the basket 
of fruits before him, just giving the fruits away. 
There is a state of life, he teaches, above body and 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

mind, which is the state of inspiration — ecstasy, 
merging into transcendental Trance. It is there 
when man is in unison with God, is one with Him, 
is God. He who Hves in that state of Samadhi 
continuously, is, verily, God Himself. Swami Rama 
does not speak to us of the invisible powers at 
work in this beautiful state; and he having 
Samadhi or the religion of Trance as his subject, is 
eminently a spiritual mystic who opens himself to 
the full light that shines beyond the broken lamp of 
mind. He says concentration means elevating one's 
self above body and mind. It is the ecstatic state — 
the Samadhi — from where all great ideas come, 
from where the poet brings down his poetry, the 
scientist his startling discoveries of the secrets of 
Nature. The ecstatic state dawns upon man 
sometimes in an extreme crisis of mental or 
physical pain. "Live in the ecstatic state and you 
need not worry. The world will readjust itself 
towards you, just as you rise to that state. The 
judge need but occupy his seat, and he will find all 
things ready for him." He says repeating this 
illustration at another place: 

The king's very presence on his royal throne 
establishes order throughout the Darbar, so doth 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

man's resting on his God-head, native glory, 
estabHsh order and Hfe throughout the whole race. 

The Prince who goes to school, or to play knows 
always he is the Prince. One should approach all 
one's tasks like a Prince Divine. 

It is only when a limb is out of order, that you feel 
it. A healthy man never knows that he has a body, 
he carries it so light. Just so, the health of the 
spirit keeps a man always above body- 


The Swami is extremely fond of Absolute Monism. 
He says, ''There is one substance and One Soul, 
One Reality; Thou art That". No other philosophy 
satisfies him. 

He says, ''Thou art God, O Man! Only cease to live 
in the body-centre". When body-consciousness, 
'skin-sight', is lost, God-consciousness, 'celestial 
sight', is regained. The world and its darkness is 
the shadow of body-consciousness, while God- 
consciousness shines self-resplendent in the human 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

All is divine if thou hast cast the scales of this 
vague belief in matter from the eyes! That is to say 
for those who have once seen the divine; it is as 
difficult to be sick or sorry, as it is for others to be 

Crucifixion is the law of life. Crucify the body and 
you rise as pure spirit. This is to say, the basis of all 
ethics and social service is that you must suffer if 
others are to be made happy* He says those who 
wish to be worshipped as Gods have to undergo 
crucifixion of the little self. It is the little self, this 
matter or Maya; the rest is all spirit, the real self. 
God-consciousness of man whose every pore 
breathes the divine is the real self of man! He who 
Tives, moves, and has his being in God' is God. 

Concentration is all the secret, he says, and true 
renunciation comes automatically to a man of 

The repetition of the sacred syllable OM is the way 
of freedom from the little self. 

"Without Simiran^, life is a process of combustion. 

Simiran means the continual repetition of the sacred word; 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

''Simiran itself is God" says Guru Nanak. 

As I now learn, this repetition can only be done 
when man is under the direct inspiration of some 
advanced Beings helping the Initiates on the path 
of Self-Realisation. It is the symptom of the 
spiritual progress by some one's u lyrical glances" 
as Emerson puts it. 

In order of essential vitality of these ideas, this last 
should be written both as his first and as his last 
idea, in fact his All-Idea, his One Idea, in his 
exposition of the secret of the liberated personality. 
The creator of the modern Punjab, Guru Gobind 
Singh, has written — those who love live, none else, 
and none else. 

For the exposition of these fundamental ideas, he 
had picked out of life many a beautiful image and 
allegory full of suggestions. His speeches are full 
of these little stories, a few original and others 
openly borrowed and strung together with a rare 

There was a cage set with mirrors on all sides, and a full 

meditation; spiritual concentration. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

blown rose was kept in the centre of the cage. And in the 
cage, was a nightingale, and the bird saw the reflection 
of the rose in the mirrors. Whichever way the bird saw 
there was the rose! Every time she flew towards the rose 
in the mirror, every time she struck the mirror, and fell 
back wounded. But as the bird turned its face away from 
the mirrors, there was the rose in the centre of the cage. 
O Man! This world is the cage. And the pleasure thou 
seekest outside thyself is within thee! 

As we run to catch our own shadow, the shadow flies. 
And as we run facing the sun, the shadow follows. Such 
is the nature of our desires. The more we desire, the 
fulfillment flies from us farther away. When we face God 
and cease to desire, all fulfillment runs after us. 

A Faqir had a blanket; it was stolen by a thief. The Faqir 
went and gave a long list of the stolen property to the 
police next door. He said he had lost his quilt, his 
cushion, his umbrella, his trousers, and his coat and so 
on. Enraged by the very length of the list, the thief came 
and threw the blanket before the police officer and said: 
''This is all. One little wretched blanket, and the man 
has come and counted all the things of the world!'' The 
Faqir hastily taking up his blanket was about to leave 
the place, when the police officer wanted to rebuke him 
for a false report! "No! No I" said the Faqir, and proved 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

that this one blanket was his quilt, his cushion, his 
umbrella, his trousers, his coat, and so on, and he 
demonstrated its uses to him in all these ways. 

To the Faqirs and Saints, it is One God that is their 

The brick that is fit for a wall, shall be lifted wherever it 
may be lying. 

The arrow is to be pulled inward first and then suddenly 
released, before it is shot out of the bow. Just so, your 
wishes and desires are arrows shot by your mind. They 
cannot be fulfilled unless you rise above them. 

Men are mineral-men, vegetable-men or animal-men, 
according to the expansion of their souls. God-men are 
the circles whose centres are everywhere and have 
become straight lines. Mineral-men are dead compared 
with vegetable-men, and the vegetable-men are dead 
compared with animal-men, and animal-men compared 
to man-men and man-men to God-men. It is, so to say 
an evolutionary course of moral life to realise itself as 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

the absolute Unselfishness which is of the Real Self of 

Prayer, he used to say, is death-in-life, when man 
trembHng with feeling out of the prison-house of 
body passes beyond body and mind. Even a thief is 
bound to be successful, if he knows this art of 
death in life. Prayer is power. This idea of death-in- 
life is his idea of Applied Religion. 

In short he preaches the religion of ecstasy, trance, 
Samadhi, and from his experiences he said that 
success, both subjective and objective, could be 
achieved if only one rises to that state of super- 
consciousness. He further preaches the 
continuousness of inspiration. He tries a great deal 
to teach the modus operandi for it to the common 
man; in substance his teaching is nothing but the 
statement of his own inner struggle. Indeed in a 
sense all that. He has written or said, is but his 

A man of great, almost severe, austerity and 
independence of thought, he set little store by what 
one may learn by the mediation of a Guru or 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

preceptor. To him the thought was inconceivable 
that there should ever arise any necessity for the 
agency of another to bring about the at-one-ment 
between God and Man who are but One. And so 
nowhere has he discoursed on the contact with 
saints, which alone vitalizes Self-consciousness 
when it falls below a certain level. 

He suffered from self-exhaustion, because he did 
not seek this contact of saints in whose company 
the exhausted God-consciousness is recharged. 
He failed to realise the absolute necessity of the 
''TAVERN", and its votaries, emphasized by Omar 
Khayyam and Hafiz. All great prophets thought of 
holding converse with the Inspired. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 




IN the exposition of the fundamental thoughts of 
his Hfe, he wrote his journals called "Aliph" in 
Urdu, with a rich treasury of quotations from 
Urdu, Persian, Sanskrit and English poets and 
prophets; he gave lectures and talks in America, 
again explaining these truths in a hundred ways, 
illustrating himself by numerous stories and 
anecdotes from Indian mythology and life. His 
English speeches in America are amplifications of 
his theme in this book "Aliph," and his whole life 
was consumed from day to day in burning itself as 
the torch of this divine knowledge. The following 
quotations from his collection taken at random 
from his Urdu book "Aliph," and, turning over its 
pages, rendered off-hand into English, as given 
below, give us a sufficient gauge of his mind and 
its treasures, the intimacies of its thoughts and the 
comprehensiveness of his intellect. The following 
quotations are but a handful of grain out of the 
heaped bushelfuls that the Master has garnered. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

He for whom I looked blindly 
In all four directions. 
He was hidden in my own eyes, 
I knew not. 

— Urdu 

Hir went searching for Rauja her Bridegroom, 

In the wilderness of the Punjab, 

While he was singing hidden in her own bosom 

— Punjabi 

The baby new to earth and sky. 
What time his tender palm is prest 
Against the circle of his breast. 
Has never thought that this is T' 

— Tennyson 

Thou art woman the beloved. 

Thou the flower, thou the bee, etc. , . . 

— Yajurveda 

Antony sought happiness in love, 
Brutus in glory, Caesar in dominion- 
The first found despair, the second disgrace, 
the last ingratitude, and each destruction. 

— Anonymous 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

I tear my bosom with my nails. 

To open it out and drive all occupants away. 

To let the Beloved live alone with me 

— Front Persian 

They bled Laila, 

But the blood came out 

Of the veins of her lover 

This is love, but it needs 

The infinite absorption into Him 

— Urdu 

If I speak of my blasphemy to the poor, divine. 
He would scream in joy and say: Islam is stale. 

— Urdu 

Have the transmuting eyes of the Alchemist, 
Making ail things of Gold 

— Urdu 

When the bird flies once 

Out of the net of the fowler. 

Then it is unafraid of aught. 

And they are all auspicious to him 

The net, the bait, the sky, and the earth, 

— Persian 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

In my eyes and in my heart. 

Thou art, O beloved! 

So much Thou art and so always. 

That whatever I see looming in the distance, 

I think it is thou, coming to me. 

— From Persian 

The drop wept and said: 

We are all so different from the sea. 

But the sea laughed at the drop and said: 

"We are all water." 

— Persian 

I am a strange rare pearl. 

That even the sea is not enough to hold me, 

I am a strange rare deer. 

That even the forest is not enough to hold me. 

— Persian 

The beauty of Thee, O Flower t is profuse. 

And the basket of my eyes 

Is too small to hold it. 

The flower-gatherer of the spring of thy beauty 

Complains that the lap of her garment is not 

Enough to hold it 

— Persian 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

The wind came and slapped the flower. 
But it was he who wept. 

— Urdu 

He is a little flame as big as a thumb resting in the 
soul of man. 

— Yajurveda 

He is free and libertine. 

Pouring of his power the wine. 

To every age and every race. 

Unto every race and age. 

He emptieth the beverage. 

Unto each and all. 

Maker and original 

The world is the ring of his spells. 

And the play of his miracles. 

Thou seekest in globe and galaxy. 

He hides in pure transparency. 

Thou seekest in fountains and in fires. 

He is the essence that enquires. 

He is the axis of the star. 

He is the sparkle of the spar; 

He is the heart of every creature; 

He is the meaning of each feature. 

And his mind is the sky; 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

That all holds more deep and high. 


If the Bird were to see me in the garden. 

She would forego her rose. 

And the Brahman would forego his God, 

If he were to see me, 

I am in my word hidden as the perfume 

resides in the rose. 

They who wish to see me, 

see me in my verse. 

-Persian couplet 
Zebun Nisa 

How would one look from his majestic brow. 
Seated as on the top of virtue's hill. 
Discountenance her despised and put to rout. 
All her array! 

— Milton 

A thing giveth but little delight. 
That never can be mine. 

- Wordsworth 

If the Alchemist has not reduced Self, 
What has he reduced? 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Mercury? Pshaw! 

Self reduced is true Alchemy. 


Thou art as the Moon in the cover of a cloud 
Come out of the cloud of this body. 
Thou art the Moon, wondrously beautiful 

— Persian, 

The false ends, the Truth subsists. 

— Guru Nanak. 

O Liberty! Thou huntress swifter than the moon, 
thou terror of the world's wolves! 

Thou bearer of this quiver. 

Whose subtle shafts pierce 

tempest-winged error. 

As the light may pierce 

the clouds when they dissever. 

In the calm regions of the orient day. 

The voices of thy bards and sages thunder. 
With an earth-awakening blast. 
Through the caverns of the past. 
Religion veils her eyes, 

oppression shrinks aghast. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

A winged sound of joy and love and wonder. 
Which soars where expectation never flew. 
Rending the veil of space and time asunder, 

— Shelley 

The Beloved took me to his bosom warm. 
And I laid my bosom bare 

and clasped Him tight. 
Ah! I clasped Him to my bosom. 

— Punjabi 

He is the Lover, He the joy of Love, 

And He the Beloved, 

He is the garment fair of beauty. 

And he the bed of luxury. 

He is the fish. He is the fisherman. 

He is the net and the waters he. 

He is the life. And the death of All. 

— From Guru Grantha 

He drinks the wine goblet of love. 
Who surrenders his life first. 
The greedy man gives not himself away. 
And yet thinks of love. 

— from Hindi. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Unless thou puttest thyself, like the wood under 

His saw, and be sawn into a comb. 

How canst thou think of reaching her tresses? 

Unless thou fain be ground like the coilyrium. 

How canst thou think of reaching her eyes? 

Unless the wine-sellers fashion thy clay into a cup. 

How canst thou reach her lips? 

Unless thou art a pearl strung in a thread (unless 

thy heart is pierced by the arrow of her glance) 

How canst thou adorn her ear? 

Unless thou fain be reduced to dust like tha leaves 

of henna. 

How canst thou dream of reaching and dyeing her 


— Urdu 

Whosoever shall save his life shall lose it, 
and whosoever shall lose his life, shall save it. 

— The New Testament 
O make my wedding preparations. 

Wed me O Brahman ! 

Come and sit in the courtyard of my heart. 

And open thy book. 

And read my fate. 

And fix: the date and the hour of my wedding. 

My wedding with Him! 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Wed me to Him O Brahman! 
I am His betrothed, 
I am His, 

Unite me with Him, Celebrate my wedding 

— From Hindi 

None compasseth 

Its joy, who is not wholly ceased from sin. 
Who dwells not self-controlled, self-centred, 
calm. Lord of Himself 1 It is not gotten else. 

— Sir Edwin Arnold's 
Translation of the Gita. 

I Went to consult a physician (on my ailment of 


And I told him of my Secret pain 

He replied: 

Shut your mouth and utter naught but the name 

of thy Beloved 

I asked as to my diet? 

He replied: Eat thyself 

I asked as to things to be avoided by me. 

He replied: Both the worlds-this and the other 


— Urdu. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

When the individual is distraught by cares or 
pleasantry, or tortured by the violence of his 
wishes and desires, the genius m him is enchained 
and cannot move. It is only when cares and desires 
are silent that the air is free enough for genius to 
live in it. It is then that the bonds of matter are cast 
aside and pure spirit, the pure knowing subject, 

— Schopenhauer 

He who gathers his desires into himself as the sea 
gathers rivers, he alone gets peace. 

— Upanishads 

Do any hearts beat faster 

Do any faces brighten 

To hear your footsteps on the stairs. 

To meet you, greet you, anywhere? 

Are any happier today. 

Through words they have heard you say? 

Life were not worth living 

If no one were the better 

For having met you on the way. 

And known the sunshine of your stay. 

He is the supreme spirit which informs 

All subtle essences! He flames in fire, 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

He shines m sun and moon, planets and stars. 
He bloweth with the winds, rolls with the 
waves. He is Prajapati that fills the world. 

— From Vedas. 

I said to her, ''I desire to meet thee" 

She replied: " If such is thy desire meet thyself" 

I said to her "I desire to sit by thee" 

She replied: "If such is thy desire, sit by thyself" 

I said to her, "I am thou and thou art everything" 

She smiled and replied: "Blessed be thy 

knowledge, it is so" 

— From, Persian 

Of the Sadhu, beloved of his heart, he wrote in the 
"Stamped Deed of Progress," his very last article in 
Urdu, as follows: 

Does the ochre-dyed robe make one a Sadhu? Ah! 
One does see the God-dyed hearts under the ochre- 
dyed robes at times. The "madman" mad after 
Rama flashes therein. But everybody knows that 
his beauty-illumined consciousness is not restricted 
to the robes of a Sadhu! That true liberty is not 
addicted to any vices of good manners, styles or 
fashions of clothes and colours. The heights to 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

reach which the very feet of man tremble to scale, 
the heads feel giddy, there flashes the light, there 
comes the signal of this mystic lantern. This sun 
shines on the snows of the Himalayas and on the 
streets of the common cities. The man of illumined 
consciousness is seen in the prison house and even 
in the still worse prison of the body, self-fettered 
by his very hands, but there lie his fetters in the 
prison, while he roams free in the infinite! In the 
dark cells, the man of God with his hand in the 
hand of God, though cast a prisoner is free. There 
roams he in all the six worlds! In the thickness of 
the crowd and its noise, a student while poring on 
his books intently, suddenly reads a word which 
cannot be written, and there he passes out of all 
limits and the book lies there forever waiting for 

One goes out for a walk, fortunately alone. The 
moonlight is in its silver flood, the evening breeze 
is blowing, and there is the redness of the evening 
in the western sky, and there is the redness of wine 
suffusing all within! How suddenly comes the 

The passenger has just boarded a Railway train, 
and is going on a journey. The wheels are rolling 
and the train is thundering! Just as he throws down 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

the glass-pane of the carriage window, there enters 
the Divine Bridegroom into his heart! The 
passenger took a ticket to a destination, but his 
soul soared away to God-known, Unknown 
destination. The renunciation in bliss, the richness 
in trance besieged the man. This is the true Sadhu! 
The Sadhus of India are a unique phenomenon 
peculiar to this country. As a green mantle gathers 
over standing water so have the Sadhus collected 
over India, full fifty-two lacs by this time. Some of 
them are indeed beautiful lotuses - the glory of the 
lake! But a vast majority are unhealthy scum. Let 
the water begin to flow, let there be marching life 
in the people, the scum will soon be carried off. 
The Sadhus were the natural outcome of the past 
dark ages of Indian History. But now-a-days the 
general spirit of reform, inasmuch as it is changing 
the feelings and tastes of the householders, is 
affecting the Sadhus also. There are springing up 
Sadhus who instead of remaining as suckers and 
parasites to the tree of Nationality, are anxious to 
make of their body and mind humble manure for 
the tree, if nothing more. 

After trying to define the true Sadhu and trying to 
impress upon his country the vanity of having 
5,200,000 ochre-robed monks he says: 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

If any one speak against the true Sadhu, Faqir, 

Saint, he would assuredly lose his power of speech! 

The hand that would strike the Sadhu would be 


He who would think against the Saint would lose 

his brain! 

It is impossible for Rama to speak againt the true 

Sadhu. True Sadhu and a thought against him ever 

starting in Rama's mind! — Hari! Hari! Hari! It is 

impossible even in Rama's dream. 

When Shiva is in Samadhi, then all the wealth and 
prosperity of the world, the victory and luck, the 
ghosts and spirits in Shiva's eternal cometry of 
names and forms begin to dance round him and 
decorate the very presence of Shiva (Shiva, Sahib- 
Dil, the Master of Self). 

O criminal! if you get lost in ecstasy this moment, 
while standing condemned at the bar, the judge 
would forget his own judgment and write what 
your new adjustment with God drives him to 

My darling! the only crime is to forget God, your 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

true Self, the quintessence of life, the soul! 

It is written that Bhrigu the Brahman kicked the 
left side of Vishnu, viz., the goddess of wealth and 
prosperity, and Vishnu rose and came and bathed 
the feet of Bhrigu with his tears. He who 
renounces self, obtains God. 

He who runs after self, be he a king, ho is a beggar 
kicked from pillar to post. It is the Law. It is not the 
monopoly of the ochre-robed monks, it is the light, 
it is for all. Moslems, Christians, Jews, Sikhs, 
Parsis; man, woman, child, low or high need this 
one Light of Truth for their beatitude. Without this 
sunlight, the shivering due to cold cannot be cured! 

It is essential for all to be educated and not 
essential for every one to be a professor. To know 
this True Self, this soul, is the necessity for every 
one to be happy, but to lose oneself day and night 
in this spiritual ecstasy is the share of a few, the 
true Faqirs. 

For him in vain the envious seasons roll. 
Who bears eternal summer in his soul 
From himself he flies, 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Stands in the sun, and with no partial gaze. 
Views all creation; and he loves it all 
And blesses it, and calls it very good. 

— Coleridge 

In the last issue of "Aliph" we find his attempt to 
introduce the style of free verse into Urdu, and one 
finds him following Whitman even in the title of 
his poems. For example, he begins the book with a 
long poem To You. And he says: 

You are my Krishna, my Rama. 

I see you, if I wish to see God, 

I see you, and you are God, 

Away with these veils of you and me. 

Away these attires of colours and forms and 


Away with these hopes and despairs. 

When I strip you of all your coverings, 

I see, if I wish to see God, I see, and you are God. 


Another poem is Old Age. 

Wearing old age, I roam in the streets of man 


The Story Of Swami Rama 


This old age is my cap wearing of which makes 

me invisible. 

It is my disguise. 

The Eyes of the Blind is another poem. 

The injury that must have killed me, cured me; 

I, a prisoner, a slave, became a free man. 

The Sadhus run after God and do many things — 

close their eyes, shut their mouths and meditate — 

but I found Him while living comfortably in my 

own house. 

He has written a very fine piece under the title The 

Misbehaviour of the Moon. 

In my wayward wanderings. 

One evening on the edge of a lake, 

I saw the cottage of a weaver. 

And by the cottage stood a young maiden she 

was the daughter of the weaver. 


The breeze came blowing soft. 

And the moonlight began Its silver flow. 

I saw the maiden stood motionless like a statue, 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Her mouth was open wide. 

And she was devotmng the moon with her eyes! 

The moon leapt from the windows of her eyes, 

into the sacred temple of youth. 

And there the moon melted away in the clear 

lake of her heart! 

O Moon! Stop! you thief! what? 

Entering without permission into other people's 


Like this! O bold Moon! 

The waters of the lake have merely thy face 


But thou hast made the maiden's heart thy 


Ah! the secret that the scientist knows not. 

The mystery that his telescope reveals not. 

The solution that the mathematician finds not. 

The riddle that Astronomy unravels not. 

Thou thus revealest that secret in the hut of a 

mere weaver^. 

O Moon! what wayward wandering thine is this. 

What is this calm luxury in that little heart? 

And why stray est thou in the huts of the poor 

and the lowly like this? 

Tlie reference is to Kabir and Kabir's self-realised daughter 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

From what has already been said it in clear, that 
though his main theme of Self or Atman or God, 
for he uses all these three words in one and the 
same sense, was characteristically Hindu and 
Vedantic, yet his own practice was fed by the 
glowing life of the Punjab itself, its intense 
emotional literature of the men of God- 
consciousness, like BuUahshah, and other Punjabi 
poets, and the galvanising vitality of the thoughts 
of the Persian masters like Shams Tabrez and 
Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi, and still more 
refreshing and life-giving reflex currents of 
thought of the Western Poets like Shelley, 
Emerson, Thoreau and Goethe. His intellect was 
nourished primarily on the Philosophy of Vedanta 
as interpreted by Western criticism, and, as it 
seems later on, his study of Vedanta was based 
primarily on the Philosophy of Kant which he had 
mastered. He had read Hegel and Spinoza. And his 
scientific proclivity of acknowledging religion in 
the terms of actual practical life, owes much to the 
study of the literature of evolution written by 
Darwin and Haeckel. Like a living tree, he drew his 
food, so to say, from the literature of the whole 
world, though he was deeply imbued with the 
Illusion-Maya of the Indian Philosopher. The 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

apparent contradictions of the statements made by 
him, all the more adorn his spiritual genius, and 
this contradiction is the contradiction inherent in 
life itself. 

Life alone defines in its infinite self-contradiction 
the Reality and its Self-Realisation. Our definitions 
are all abortive, being intellectual justifications 
from our relative standpoints which in themselves 
never touch life but at one infinitesimal unknown 
point. The contradictory statements made by poets, 
like Swami Rama, do not come strictly under 
philosophy, and no true philosophy can undertake 
to reconcile their contradictions. Their self- 
contradictoriness in itself is an evidence of an 
exalted self-realisation, or as Miss E. Underhill puts 
it "it is proof of the richness and balance of his 
spiritual experience." 


The Story Of Swami Rama 


THE following excerpts from his writings, some 
out of his articles written originally in English, and 
some translated, some condensed and summarised 
from his writings in Urdu, and some selected from 
his American addresses, would serve best to reveal 
the contents of the veritable garden of his mind. 
These are the blossoms of his thought in divine 
inspired bloom. 

The Path to God in your own self lies through 
The Path to God renunciation of all desires. 
Renounce within all desires and live repeating OM. 

Without paying the price, you cannot reach God, you 
cannot regain your birthright. '^ Blessed are the pure in 
heart for they shall see Clod. Purity of heart means 
making yourself free of all clingings to the objects of the 
world. Renunciation, nothing short of it. Gain this 
purity and you see God. 

Could you love God with even half the love that yon 
show your wife, you would realise the Truth this second. 
Who puts you in bondage? Who is it that enslaves you, 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

your own desires, none else. 

The very moment you cast over-hoard these desires, 
clingings, love, hatred and attachments and also throw 
off even the desire for light and chant OMfor a second, 
you free yourself from all bondage and become well- 
balanced in equilibrium, nothing of yourself left with 
that person, with that body, or with that object . . . Sit 
still, chant OM and then think who is within you. 

Feel that, and rejoice in your own divinity and desire 
pleasure from within you, enjoy happiness of your 
Atman. Throw aside all abnormal desires and inordinate 

All religion is simply an attempt to unveil ourselves and 
to explain our self. 

The votaries of all religious creeds can at times be en 
rapport with Divinity and lift off the veil, thick or thin 
from before their eyes for so long as they remain in 
communication with the supreme Being. 

All the sects in this world are: "I am His'' "I am Thine" 
"I am Thou". Such a union with God is religion. Let my 
body become His and let His Self become my self. 
Know that you stand above all wants and needs. Have 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

that and the whole Universe is yours. Just sing, just 
chant OM. 

Why did Krishna kiss the flute and raise it to such a 
position? The flute's answer was: "I have one virtue, 
one good point I have. I have made myself void of all 

Thus give up all selfishness, all selfish connections, all 
thoughts of mine and thine, rise above it, wooing God, 
wooing Him as no worldly lover wooes his lady love, 
hungering and thirsting after the realisation of the True 

In this state of mind, in this peace of heart with soul, 
pure soul, begin to chant the Mantram OM, begin to 
sing the sacred syllable OM. 

Do any kind of wrong, do any mischief, harbour in your 
mind any kind of wrong, do these wrong deeds, commit 
these sins even at a place where you are sure nobody will 
catch you or find you out ... you must be visited with 
pain and suffering. 

The wages of sin is death. 

In the most solitary caves commit a sin and you will in 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

no time he astonished to see that the very grass under 
your feet stands up and hears testimony against you. 
You will in time see that the very walls, the very trees 
have tongues to speak. " The moral law is that you must 
he pure. Harhour impurity and you must suffer the 
consequences. " 

The kingdom of Heaven is within you, 

The people of Europe and America do not wish to take 
up anything unless it appeals to their intellect. Even 
though we may not he ahle to prove the virtue of this 
Mantram hy the logic of the world, yet there is no denial 
of the powerful effect which this Mantram, chanted in a 
proper way, produces on the character of a man. 

All the knowledge of the sacred scriptures of the Hindus 
was ohtained when the writers of these volumes had 
thrown themselves into ecstasies hy the humming of this 

All the Vedanta, nay all the philosophy of the Hindus is 
simply an exposition of this syllahle OM. 

OM has a charm ahout it, an efficiency, a virtue in it 
which directly hrings the mind of one who chants it 
under control, which directly hrings all feelings and alt 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

thought into a state of harmony, brings peace and rest to 
the soul and puts the mind in a state where it is one 

with God Science may not he able to explain this 

hut this is a fact which can he verified hy experiment. 
Woe unto science if it goes against the truth connected 
with the efficiency of the sacred syllahle OM. 

When there is no duality in the mind, then all ohject- 
consciousness is at rest and thus the point of inspiration 
is reached. When Tennyson is heyond all idea of Lord 
Tennyson, then alone he is the poet Tennyson. When 
Berkeley is no proprietor, copy-righting Bishop, then 
alone is he the thinker Berkeley. When some grand and 
wonderful work is done through us, it is folly to take the 
credit for it, hecause when it was heing done, the credit- 
securing ego was entirely ahsent, else the heauty of the 
deed should have heen marredl 

The real self which is knowledge ahsolute and power 
ahsolute is the only stern Reality, hefore which the 
apparent reality of the world melts away I 

OM is the name of this Reality, 

Realise it and sing in the language of feeling, sing it 
with your acts. Sing it through every pore of your hody. 
Let it course through your veins, let it pulsate in your 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

bosom, let every part of your body and every drop of 
your blood tingle with the truth that you are the Light of 
lights, the Sun of suns, the Ruler of the Universe, the 
Lord of lords, the True Self I 

Om represents 0-Am, or I am He. Om represents the 
pure idea of I am. 

A man, who sings Om in all these ways, chants it with 
his lips, feels it with his heart and sings it through 
action, makes his life a continuous song. To everybody 
he is God. But if you cannot chant it with feeling nor 
chant it with your acts do not give it up, go on chanting 
it with the lips. Even that is not without use . . . But 
chanting it through feelings and actions would 
naturally follow if you commence humming it with the 

How to make the mind rise higher into the celestial 
regions, to make the soul soar away up to the throne of 
God? When the benign light of the rising sun or the 
setting sun is falling upon the translucent lids of half- 
closed eyes, we begin humming the syllable OM, we 
sing it in the language of feeling. 

I am the Unseen spirit which forms all subtle essences. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

I flame in Fire, 

I shine in sun and moon, planets and stars. 

I blow with the winds, roll with the waves, 

I am the man and woman, youth and maid! 

The babe new born, the withered ancient propped upon 

his staff! 

I am whatever is. 

The black bee, the tiger and the fish. 

The green bird with red eyes, the tree and the grass. 

The cloud that hath lightning in it. 

The seasons and the seas! 

In me they are, in me begin and end. 

— From Sir Edwin Arnold's translation of the Gita 

O people of America and the whole world! The Truth is 
that you cannot serve God and Mammon. You cannot 
serve two masters. You cannot enjoy this world and 
also realise Truth. 

You cannot enjoy the world, you cannot enter into petty 
low, worldly, carnal, sensuous desires and at the same 
time lay claim to Divine Realisation. 

O dear people! You can never love anything so long as 
you perceive ugliness. Love means perception of beauty. 
Fighting with darkness will not remove it. Bring the 
light in and the darkness is over. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

So the negative criticism, chilling, discouraging process 
will not mend matters. All that is necessary is the 
positive, cheerful, hopeful, loving, encouraging attitude. 
The best criticism is to make people feel from within 
what you wish to make them realise from without. All 
grumbling is as futile and fatuous as to say 'Oh! Why is 
the lily not an oak?' 

From all life's grapes, I press sweet wine. The beautiful 
Joseph says to his apologising brothers: "It is not ye that 
threw me into the well. The Lord's law in order to exalt 
me in Egypt, found no better levers than my own 
brothers. " " Ye need not think so much of sin. If love 
breaks law it is the fulfilment of the law. Love is the 
only Divine Law. Owning through Love is Divine and 
owning through Law is illegal!" 

Whenever we reach that point of saturation, when the 
mind is filled with the idea, when the whole being is lost 
and merged in the thought, the machine or organ or the 
musical instrument is taken up by the great musician, 
by God, by Divinity, and through this organ are 
produced beautiful, magnificent, sublime tunes. Great 
notes of splendid music come out of the organ, but so 
long as the child wants to keep the organ to itself and 
does not want the great organist or musician to handle 
the organ, only notes of discord, will be emanated by the 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

organ ; so long as this self, this false ego, this unreal self, 
which is the enjoying self is present, and wants to keep 
hold of the body and does not let go this body, through 
this instrument of the unmusical body only notes of 
discord will come out. 

Inspiration is God's doing. When the little self gives up 
possession of the body, the person is inspired. 

— From his talks given in America 

At another place, referring to the life of Jesus Christ, he 

He was a very good, pure man, what was he? During 
the first thirty years of his life. The ebb of the tide he was 
iifce this small piece of iron, nobody knew him : he was 
the son of a carpenter, he was a very poor boy, the child 
of an unknown mother, he was looked down upon. 
Now this piece of iron got itself connected with the true 
self, the spirit, that is the magnet, the source of 
attraction, the centre of all life and power ; he got 
connected with Divinity, with Truth, with Realisation, 
Power and what became of it? That piece of iron was 
also magnetised, he became a magnet, and people were 
attracted to him; disciples and many people were drawn 
to him, they naturally began to bow down before him. 
There came a time towards the end of his life when the 
Christ, called the piece of iron, was detached from the 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

magnet. What happened then to the Spirit? The very 
moment all the pieces of iron which were attached to it 
fell off; all his disciples left him ; the same people of 
Jerusalem who loved and worshipped him before, all 
those who had received him royally before, those who 
had decorated the city in his honour, all left him; his 
power was gone, just as the power of the magnet being 
taken away from the piece of iron, its power is gone, it is 
no longer possessed of the properties of a magnet. When 
his disciples left him, when those eleven left him, so 
much did the people turn from him that they wanted to 
wreak vengeance upon him, that they wanted to crucify 
him and that was the time when Christ said: " O Father! 
why hast Thou forsaken me" . This shows that the 
connection was broken. See what the life of Christ 
teaches you. If teaches you that all the power, the virtue 
of Christ lay in his connection with or attachment to the 
true spirit or Magnet. When the solid body of Christ 
was attached to the true spirit, the Magnet, the body of 
Christ was a magnet also, but when the body of Christ 
was detached from the true Spirit or Magnet, then his 
power was gone, his disciples and followers left him. 
Now Christ regained his union with the Spirit before his 
death, you know Christ did not die when he was 
crucified. This is a fact which may be proved. He was in 
a state called Samadhi, a state where all life functions 
stop, where the pulse beats not, where the blood 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

apparently leaves the veins, where all signs of life are no 
more, when the hods is as it were crucified. 

— From his informal talks given in America 

In the twilight of GaHlee, He saw them (the 
disciples) toiling and moiling, tugging and towing, 
hurriedly rowing, for the wind was contrary unto 
them. But there was no toiling and rowing for the 
Master. Why should not such a man sleep in the 
midst of the storm, knowing He could walk upon 

the waters. 


The source of inspiration of all the prophets, poets, 
discoverers and inventors in art and science, and 
dreamers in philosophy, has been Love, only in some 
cases it was more apparent than in others. Krishna, 
Chaitanya, Jesus, Tulsidas, Shakespeare, and 
Ramakrishna, were inspired in as much as they were 

Love divested of all carnality is spiritual illumination. 
How blessed is he whose property is stolen away! Thrice 
blessed is he whose wife runs away, provided by such 
means he is brought in direct touch with the All-love. 
Abraham, says the Muhammadan tradition, at one time 
desired to take a sea voyage. Khizra or Neptune, offered 
his services as an humble captain of the boat. Abraham 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

at first gave his foolish consent; but on reconsideration, 
he begged pardon ofKhizra, saying; ''My most gracious 
brother, excuse me please, I would prefer to have my 
boat without a captain, ferried directly by the hand of 
love. If you, the Lord of the Seas, take the oar, it is safe 
riding; but, ah! It is too safe; it will make me rely upon 
you, and bar me from direct dependence on God. Please 
do not stay between me and God. There is more joy to 
me in resting directly on God's bosom than even the 
bosom of my brother Khizra. " 

Says the desperate and forlorn lover: " Pray, flash on Oh 
lightning! Roar on. Oh thunder! Rage on. Oh storm! 
Howl on. Oh winds! I thank you, I thank you. O blessed 
Thunder, you frighten delicate Love to cling to me for a 
moment. How infinitely sweet are the bitters of life I 
when out of its grapes we can press the sweet wine of 
delicious pangs of God-Love! 

Take my life and let it be 
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee, 
Take my heart and let it be 
Full saturated. Love, with Thee, 
Take my eyes and let them be 
Intoxicated, God, with Thee. 
Take my hands and let them be 
Engaged in sweating. Truth, for Thee. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Dear Reader! Did you ever have the privilege of being 
lost, nay raised, in love, unselfish love, giving all to 
love? Then you must he in a position to appreciate 
sentiments like the following: 

''Soft skin ofTaiffor Thy sandals take. 

And of our heart-strings fitting latchets make 

And tread on lips which yearn to touch those feet. " 

O my Lord, accept me as the most humble ''slave of 


— Urdu Couplet 

When viewed from the stand-point of God-Self the 
whole world becomes an effusion of Beauty expression of 
joy, out-pouring of Bliss. The limitation of vision 
being overcome, there remains nothing ugly. When 
everything is my own self, how anything could be other 
than sweetness condensed. Self is Anand (Bliss), 
therefore, self-realisation is equal to the realisation of the 
whole world as Bliss-crystallised, or perception of the 
powers of Nature as my own hand and feet, and feeling 
the universe as my own sweet Self embodied. 

True purity is that where all beauty is absorbed in me 
and I feel and enjoy my spiritual oneness with all to 
such an extent that to talk or think of meeting any object 
sounds like a painful hint of separation. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Speak to him, then, for He hears and Spirit to 

Spirit can meet; 

Closer is He than breathing and nearer than 

hands or feet. 

The sun, the moon, the stars, the hills, and the 


Are not these, O Soul, the visions of Him who reigns? 

— Tennyson. 

Children have a common practical religion of love, play 
and innocence all over the world. This unity comes 
about by the natural faithfulness of each child to his dear 
sweet self. 

To seek happiness is in its essence strictly speaking 
religion, but the mode of realizing religion involved 
in it may be compared to getting a peep into the Darbar 
through the grating of a dirty gutter. They resemble a 
flash of lightning which though identical in its nature 
with broad daylight, does far more harm than good, or, 
more appropriately, they are like the stealing of fire from 
heaven by Prometheus. 

We read in the Bible that the Pharisees were very pious, 
their acts and deeds were very pious, but they lacked 
that tender, kind, and loving spirit; these people had a 
censuring, fault-finding spirit in them, which kept them 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

farther away from Christ than Mary Magdalene, whose 
character was not the purest, a woman who was not 
immaculate. This Mary Magdalene had not in her this 
fault-finding, this censuring, this blaming spirit, she 
had that spirit of lave in her and she was nearer to 
Truth, she was nearer to the Kingdom of Heaven than 
the Pharisees. 

If you make yourselves this second divested of all 
desires, if you free yourselves of all worldly clingings, 
you know that every desire of yours chops off a part 
of yourself, leaves you only a small fraction of yourself. 
How seldom it is that we meet a whole man! A whole 
man is an inspired man, a whole is the Truth. Every 
wish or clinging seems to add to your stock, but in 
reality makes you a fraction, an insignificant portion of 
yourself. The very moment you cast over-board these 
desires, clingings, loves, hatreds and attachments and 
also throw off even the desire for light and chant Omfor 
a second, you attain immediate freedom, Anand, Bliss 

On the playground, in India, we place an instrument 
called gulli, which is thick at the middle and sharply 
pointed at the ends, with both end raised above 
ground, and we strike one end with a bat and the gulli 
rises at once in the air a little; then we deal it a very 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

hard blow with the bat and it goes flying right into the 
air to a great distance. There are two processes in this 
game. The first is to raise the gulli and the second is to 
make itfiy into the air. If the mind is to be brought into 
divine communion, first of all it is to be raised just a 
little, and the second process is to shoot it far off into the 
spiritual atmosphere. 

^^ Having nothing to do, be always doing'\ sums up 
Vedantic teaching. O happy worker, success must seek 
you, when you cease to seek success. 

Christ spoke only to eleven disciples, but those words 
were stored up by the atmosphere, were gathered up by 
the skies, and are today being read by millions of people. 
Truth crushed to earth shall rise again. 

Remember it always that when sending out thoughts of 
jealousy and envy, of criticism, of fault-finding, or 
thoughts smacking of jealousy and hatred, you are 
courting the very same thoughts yourself. Whenever 
you are discovering the mote in your brother's eye, you 
are putting the beam into your own. 
Let us watch a hero in the battlefield. He is mad with a 
super-abundance of power, thousands count nothing 
to him, his own body has no appearance of reality to 
him. He is no longer the body or mind and the world is 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

no more existent, the spirits are up and every hair of his 
body is thundering out his immersion in the Great 
Beyond which lies at the hack of the body, the mind, and 
the whole world. Thus, to the spectators, indomitable 
courage and heroic power are like a lightning flash of the 
Unknowable into the phenomenal world; but in regard 
to the subject himself un-daunted bravery is 
unconsciously no more than religion, that is, absorption 
in the Power behind the screen. 

The very word ecstasy (e, out, and sto, stand) shows that 
HAPPINESS, no matter under what conditions or 
circumstances experienced, is nothing different from 
standing, so to say, outside the body, mind and world. 
Referring to one's own experience any person can see 
the oneness of happiness with freedom, though 
temporary, from all duality. The longed-for object, and 
the wooing subject welding into one constitute joy. Thus 
manifestly the very nature of happiness is religion. 

If anybody should ask me to give my philosophy in one 
word, I would say, '^ Self-Reliance'\ the "Knowledge of 

You respect your Self when you are filled with God- 
consciousness; when you are filled with the thought of 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

God within, then are you filled with Self respect. By the 
worship of the body you are committing suicide; you are 
digging a pit for yourself 

The path of salvation, the way to realisation, is 
apparent death, that and nothing else, crucifixion and 
nothing else, there is no other way to inspiration. 

Let God work through you, and there will he no more 
duty. Let God shine forth. Let God show Himself. Live 
God. Eat God. Realise the Truth and the other things 
will take care of themselves. 

Try to make great and good men of yourselves. Do not 
expend your energies, do not waste thought on 
building beautiful and grand houses. Many of your 
houses are large and grand, but the men in them are 
very small. There are large tombs in India, but what do 
they contain? Nothing but rotten carcasses, crawling 
worms and snakes! 

Do not try to make your wife, your friends and yourself 
grand, by wasting energy on big houses and grand 
furniture. If you take this idea, if you realise that, if you 
perceive and know that the one aim and goal of life is not 
in wasting energy and accumulating riches, but in 
cultivating the inner powers, in educating yourself, to 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

free yourself, to become God, if you realise that and 
expend your energies in that direction, the family ties 
will he no obstacle to you. 

Xr Xr * * * 

It is strange, very strange, that people want to rob each 
other, as for worldly wealth, but as for higher wealth 
(spiritual religious riches), when they are presented with 
it, they want to kill their donors. 

Friends and relations ought to be transparent to us, they 
should not be like veils and blinds. They should be as 
glass-panes obstructing no light, nay, they should be like 
spectacles and microscopes or telescopes, helps and not 

A rope-dancer at first rides the rope, single, alone. When 
highly practiced he takes with him a boy or some heavy 
object and dances on the rope. So, after living a single 
life and acquiring perfection, a man may allow others in 
his company. 

Man must conquer his passions or disappear. It is 
impossible to imagine a man presided over by his 
stomach or sexual passions — a walking stomach, using 
hands, feet, and all other members merely to carry it 
from place to place and serve its assimilative mania. 

The reading of books and learning all knowledge is one 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

thing; and to acquire the Truth is another. You may 
read all the sacred Scriptures and yet not know the 

Death asks, not ''What have you?'' hut "Who are you?" 
Life's question is not "What have I?" hut "What ami?" 

Thoreau preferred leisure to ornaments. 

To give is a hetter hargain than to get. 

Love is a disease if it impairs the freedom of the soul. 
Make it thy slave, and all the miracles of Mature shall 
lie in the palm of thy hand. 
Let not desire and love tear and rend thee. 

A soldier who is going to a campaign does not seek what 
fresh furniture he can carry on his hack, hut rather what 
he can leave hehind. So if thou seekest fame or ease or 
pleasure or aught for thyself, the image of that thing 
which thou seekest will come and cling to thee and thou 
wilt have to carry it ahout — and the images and the 
powers which thou hast thus evoked will gather round 
and form for thee a new hody — clamouring for 
sustenance and satisfaction — Beware then lest it hecome 
thy grave and thy prison — instead of thy winged ahode 
and a palace of joy. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Keep your mind full of agreeable memories and pleasant 
associations of ideas; all the time saturated with happy 
thoughts and godly notions; you will have no occasion 
to suffer or repine. 

It was Muhammad's realisation of God's lave for man, 
however little he may have put it into words, that 
thrilled through the Arab world and drew the tribe one 
man to fight beneath his banner. 

The Self within is the Self without Yes, but the Real Self, 
and not the false self induced by '' sense-slavery'\ 

The true work is God-consciousness. If you could 
sustain it then, whether in busy New York or the silent 
Himalayas, the effect remains the same. The place, form 
and mode of activity do not matter. 

A man never rises so high as when he knows not 
whither he is going. 

The suffering man ought to consume his own smoke; 
there is no good in emitting smoke till you have made it 
into fire, which in the metaphorical sense, too, all smoke 
is capable of becoming. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 



(1888 TO 1900) 

AS already noted, suddenly between the years 
1903-1906, Swami Rama astonished India, Japan 
and America with his great meteoric personality. 
Clad in the orange robe of a monk, fired by the 
success of Swami Vivekananda in America, and 
brimful of a pure, nectarious enthusiasm for 
diffusing through the whole world the rich truth of 
his own convictions, Swami Rama actually burst 
forth on the admiring and astonished gaze of the 
world that met him, as a truly inspired apostle of 
Vedanta. And this Vedanta was his own. It seemed 
he had realised life in its supreme beauty suddenly 
by some unknown sacred personal touch that 
maddened him with a divine intoxication. As some 
Higher One, came and touched the soul of 
Chaitanya maddening him for life, so it was in the 
case of Swami Rama. A glorious inspired 
personality can, under no circumstances, be the 
result merely of human achievements, however 
great ones attainments or accomplishments may 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

be. He was adorned with Heaven's own hand that 
paints a Hly white and a rose red and a violet 

He insists at times in very emphatic language on 
the ceaseless repetition of OM. His own repetition 
of OM was ceaseless. But none of his followers ever 
caught this fire, except for the days and hours they 
were with him. I never saw him excuse himself 
from this incessant labour. "OM," he used to say," 
is the divine punctuation of life, without it, one 
cannot breathe the divine breath. Without it one 
dies." He admired a Bahai whom he heard 
lecturing somewhere in Egypt or America. He said 
"Ah! He punctuated his speech not with commas 
and colons and semi-colons, but with the Name of 
His Beloved — Baha! Baha! Baha!" (Baha means 
Light.) Again when at Vashishtha Ashram, he was 
deeply imbued with the spirit of ceaseless Simrin.l 
If he fell while going on the green swards of 
Vashishtha Ashram mountains he would say: "Ah! 
I have fallen, because I have forgotten the Beloved! 
You have all come, you obstruct my vision. I fall, I 
grow weak, because I forget Him." 

However powerful the will of man, it cannot be 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

denied that the process of Simrin or the ceaseless 
repetition of Nam is a symptom of inspiration, it is 
never an act of will as understood in ordinary 
parlance. It cannot be. Those who take to its 
repetition as a matter of spiritual discipline by the 
sheer force of a trained will, do it all their life 
without any gain whatsoever. It starts as a mere 
discipline and ends a mere discipline. But those 
who are inspired cannot live without it; if the 
repetition stops, their skin burns up, as it were 
their mind is scorched, their heart grows blind and 
they prefer death to the stopping of the flow of this 
Gang& through their soul. It is the Great Prophet 
of Nam of the Punjab, Guru Nanak, who came and 
cleared this great confusion that for centuries clung 
to the fundamental secret of Brahma Vidya that, in 
India, leads to the right kind of development of 
human personality, and it is he who emphasised 
that man on this earth in order to rise, has to come 
under the influence of great Powerful Men living 
in other Higher Spiritual worlds, and it is under 
their inspiration that he is to develop his own Self. 
Simrin or Nam is His Favour, it is the touch of 
Higher Beings Guru Nanak points to the life of the 
invisible Satya Sangat. This is the Spirit of the 
Punjab that permeates every true Punjabi, be he a 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Hindu, a Muslim, or a Sikh. Self-Realisation is 
infinite and without inspiration all efforts of man 
unaided end in despair and in weariness of spirit 
and fatigue of soul. Without inspiration, all is 
vanity. That the Swami -was inspired none can 
deny. Swami Rama lived the deep life of a Bhagat, 
of a man of Simrin, of a self-intoxicated poet, of a 
man maddened with the exquisite beauty of the 
Divine Face in the Universe, and this almost 
continuous ecstatic state of his mind does not seem 
to be the result of any self-discipline] but of a 
sudden onrush of Higher Inspiration. There are 
evidences of the sudden floods coming into him, 
and his self-discipline of years helped him to live 
on those floods with the tenacity of a 
mathematician, with the devotion of a lover, with 
the recklessness of a philosopher and with the will 
of a conqueror, even in times of depression. Swami 
Rama held fast to the tides. His poetry, his vast 
reading, his choice of solitude, and of incessant 
work all helped him. But no man with any spiritual 
insight could deny that the beautiful glow of his 
personality was of a kind that reminds one faintly 
of Chaitanya. The spirit of Bhakti vibrated 
intensely even when he was blazing in his own 
words as veritable God Himself, In San Francisco, 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

when he said: "I am God" tears of bHss trickled 
down his closed eyes, his face sparkled, and his 
arms vibrated with passion to hold the very 
universe in his embrace. This emotion assuredly is 
not of any philosopher. This passion was of a 
Vaishnava Bhakta. In early days, he seldom spoke 
in public without shedding tears at the very name 
of Krishna for hours. He beheld Him on the 
Kadamb tree and heard his flute ringing in his ears, 
while bathing in the Ganges at Hardwar. In his 
house at Lahore, he read Sur Sugar with the 
glorious passion that brought him the vision of 
Krishna after which he swooned away. Seeing a 
serpent with upspread hood in his room that very 
day after the swoon, he beheld Krishna dancing on 
its hood. He told me that for days and nights he 
wept in love of Krishna, and his wife saw in the 
morning that his pillow was wet with tears, 

I woke to find my pillow wet 
With tears for deeds deep hid in sleep. 
I knew no sorrow here, but yet 
The tears fell softly through the deep. 


This emotion never left him. It is in his poetry, in 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

his prose, in speech, in silence, in sleep, I saw it in 
him when he was dancing on the sands of the 
Jamuna in ecstasy, at Mathura. I have seen him 
crying and weeping with this very love on the 
swards of Vashishtha Ashram. Even there he 
carried with him a miniature model of Krishna 
with flute in hand and I enquired what it was. He 
laughed and said: "This is Rama's magic not to be 
shown to you." He showed it to me and kept it. 

That this blossoming of his personality was sudden 
is evident from the record of his letters which he 
had been writing to one Dhanna Mai, an old 
bachelor of Gujranwala under whose care the 
father of Swami Rama put this impressionable little 
boy when the boy joined the Gujranwala High 
School. As a boy, Swami Rama liked the man, 
owing to his religiosity and some extraordinary 
powers of thought-reading that this Dhanna Mai 
once possessed but which he seems to have soon 
lost. Swami Rama had, at Vashishtha Ashram, a 
long talk with me about the man and how this man 
having some occult powers, lost his way 
irretrievably in them with the natural result of a 
complete downfall. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

These letters (translated below) of a mere boy- 
reading in school in extreme poverty, with the 
dumb ambition of getting the highest possible 
education, unsupported by his poor parents who 
wished him to be a mere wage-earner for the 
family even after his matriculation, and with the 
keen desire of seeing the great Divine Face of life, 
of meeting God, knowing Him, feeling him, being 
Him— letters written for years during his 
boyhood, in complete self-surrender to one who 
he thought would lead him to God, are the great 
autobiographical notes, which, incidentally give 
the glimpses of the hopes and aspirations of a 
poor Punjabi student, how he lived, talked, worked 
and thought. Swami Narayan has done well in 
bringing them together in a book form, out of 
which, the following extracts are given in the form 
of diary notes, as all his letters to the old Dhanna 
Mai were in the form of reports about himself sent 
to him. It seems there was a constant demand of 
money on the part of Dhanna Mai, and Swami 
Rama, whether as a student or as a recipient of a 
paltry stipend, or when earning a little by work as 
a private tutor to some students or sons of rich 
men, or as a professor earning about Rs. 200 (on 
which he had numerous calls from parents, 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

brothers, and from his own wife who had to keep 
his own home going, at Lahore, with guests 
streaming into it then, as he was supposed to be a 
big man in Lahore) always met first the demand of 
the crude Dhanna Mai. His vow of self-surrender 
once made was so complete that he seldom acted 
without his advice or guidance. 

It is also clear that this Dhanna in the initial stages 
of his life, was of some help to the boy in directing 
his inborn trend of mind towards things spiritual 
and in inspiring him with a quest for higher things 
when the boy needed such inspiration. Swami 
Rama, a little before his death, had the courtesy to 
send a letter (through me) to Dhanna, and asked 
me to offer him a paltry amount as he had no one 
to support him and had grown then very old. He 
still remembered him, a few days before his death. 
Of Swami Rama's early life there is hardly much to 
be recorded. He was born at the village of 
Muraliwala a village in the district of Gujranwala, 
Punjab, in 1873. His mother passed away when he 
was but a few days old, and he was brought up by 
his elder brother, Goswami Guru Das, and his old 
aunt. As a child he was very fond of the sound of 
the conchshell. He was a gloomy sort of child, fond 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

of solitude. He would ask his teacher to give him 
leave for a little while to go to the temple to hear 
sacred recitations and offer that much from the 
time of his meals instead. He revered his Moslem 
village teacher like a devoted pupil. Once he asked 
his father to give his milch-buffalo to the Maulvi, 
as he gave so much higher food to his little son. 

After finishing his village school education, the boy 
was admitted to the Gujranwala High School for 
his Matriculation studies. It was here that he was 
brought in close contact with that uncanny sort of 
person, Dhanna Mai, whom the boy began 
imagining as his God, his spiritual master. It seems 
he made to this man an offering of his body and 
soul in deep spiritual devotion. 

He passed the Matriculation in March, 1888, and 
migrated from Gujranwala to Lahore to join the 
Mission College for his Intermediate, and 
afterwards for his Degree examinations. The 
following letters were written when he was a 
College student. 

This correspondence shows a sudden burst of the 
blossoming of his personality evidently due to the 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

opening of the inner vistas by Krishna Avesh, or 
the inspiration from the higher realms where such 
as Krishna Hve as helpers of the man struggling 

18th May, 1888. Joined Mission College. Got a 
house on a monthly rental of Re. 1. I have passed 
and stand thirty-eighth in order of merit in the 
whole Punjab (in the Matriculation examination) 
but could not get a scholarship. I have to pay Rs. 4- 
8 as fees in this college. 

10th June, 1888. You ask why I did not go and live 
in the quarters near Maharaja Ranjit Singh's 
Samadh. The great reason is that in those quarters I 
can never get the requisite solitude, nor freedom 
for my studies, 

14th November, 1888. 1 offer myself and my every- 
thing at your feet. O God! Most probably I may get 
a scholarship. 

19th March, 1889. O God! I have got the scholar- 

11th February, 1890. 1 must send fees for appearing 
in the Intermediate examination; I have not 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

obtained money from Bhagwan Das yet. I don't 
believe in my labours, I believe in your favour. If 
you order me I appear, if not, I will not sit for the 
examination nor send my examination fees. 

13th February, 1890. I was wrong in thinking that I 
had any choice in the matter. The sahib, the 
Principal of the college sent up my name and I had 
to sign the papers. So I must go up for the 
examination. I have got the money for this purpose 
from Bhagwan Das. Forgive me, pardon me! I am 
your slave. 

18th February, 1896. I went to-day on my return 
from the College to see the university results. It 
was not out. I sent Mukundlal, but the boys had 
torn the sheet containing the names of candidates 
from Gujrat, Hafiziabad, Sialkot. This was mischief 
perpetrated by some foolish jealous boys, in 
resentment of the success of the candidates of these 
particular centres. 

10th March, 1890. It is said God is merciful and 
peaceful. Then why are you angry? Why don't you 
forgive me? I fancy you've learnt from the House 
of God that I have some defect which will stand in 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

my way of seeing Him, and having learnt that, you 
are disregarding me, for the world would laugh at 
you that Tirath Rama being yours could not see 
God. But my attitude is — forgive me, and look not 
at my defects. 

If you call me in, I know but this one door. If you 
turn me out, I know but this one door. I know no 
other door, I know this head, and I know its one 
place. Thy door-sill! 

— From Persian. 

20th March, 1890. Examination in Persian over. 
Mathematics also done, very difficult subject. But if 
you be kind, nothing is difficult. 

23rd March, 1890. To-day we had very stiff papers. 
It is physical science, an extremely difficult subject. 

6th June, 1890. Why do you not write to me. I do 
my best, but I have much to do. I cannot come to 
you. We got two holidays only in name, the college 
task is so much that it cannot be finished even in 2 
weeks. You should not misinterpret my inability to 
obey you. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

11th June, 1890. The Principal gave me a letter to 
the eye doctor. He has prescribed spectacles for me 
and I have to send Rs, 5 to Bombay to get them. 

25th June, 1890. 1 got my spectacles from Bombay. I 
again went to the eye specialist to show the glasses 
to him if they were correct and he found them 
correct. I can see the black board much better now. 
The Principal also tells me to wear spectacles as the 
eye specialist says, and with them I see things at a 
distance in a much better way. That is why I have 
not returned the spectacles. What is your view 
now regarding spectacles. 

19th July, 1890. Our vacation commences from 1st 
August. To-day is 19th July. Please never think I 
have turned my face from you. When one takes up 
a task after a while, while doing it, he gets an 
insight into it. And the worker then gets the 
knowledge how to do it best. He understands the 
ways and means of doing it without much thought. 
He cannot say the why and the wherefore of it, but 
he understands it instinctively. I cannot give you 
reasons, for to find out reasons is the work of 
philosophers. Everybody is not a philosopher, but 
everybody can get along his way quite nicely 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

without giving reasons. When I was a young lad, I 
could judge the rhyme and rhythm of many a 
poetic couplet, but I could give no explanations 
and reasons. Now, after ten years, I find I was 
quite right, when I have now got full knowledge of 
the laws of prosody. If I could not give reasons 
then, it does not follow that I was wrong in my 
judgment. I had reason with me, though I could 
not know of it. This shows that a man of true 
judgment need not always necessarily give reasons 
for it. And at times we must accept his decision 
without insisting upon reasons, if we know that 
this man is essentially good and follows his 

I never think I disobey you. You must always think 
that whatever I do is the spirit of real obedience. 

You say I should spend my vacation with you at 
Gujranwala. As you say, I must go there, and I will 
anyhow; but spend all my time there, I will not. 
This is how I feel. I do not think of doing so. I may 
give you a few reasons for it, though I hate to hava 
to explain myself like this and waste my time. But 
I do it simply to convince you that I am not 
faithless and you should never doubt my devotion 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

to you. 

My reasons are: I have just understood the 
difference between staying at Lahore and going to 
one's native place where one has to meet his 
friends and relatives. Not only that the latter do 
not provide the requisite solitude for study, but I 
find I lose that subtlety of mind which enables one 
to solve subtle and difficult problems. By going to 
one's native place, one becomes gross, loses the 
subtle thread of thought that grasps fine ideas. The 
reason for it is that the mind gets degraded by 
contact with physical pleasures. And I find outside 
Lahore, everywhere this defect of wrong contact 
and my mind is ruined. You may say that Lahore is 
not a wilderness, here too I meet men. Quite true. 
But I meet strangers here and do not meet them 
with the deep affection with which I meet my 
people at home. In Lahore, I meet people, but my 
Dhyanam (meditation) does not penetrate into 
them. It is all meeting on the surface. But with 
one's people, one has to give one's mind to them. 
Secondly, I know only students in Lahore and their 
contact is always invigorating. 

You may ask me, if any other student like myself 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

would stay at Lahore. Yes. Please listen. Rama Din 
who stood 1st in the Punjab Province will not go to 
his place even for a day. 

Nobody can shine without labour, hard labour. I 
am for hard labour. It is true there are many bright 
students who would go home but I believe their 
homes provide them with requisite facilities for 
their studies. Besides many of them are not 
married, as I am. And even if they are married, 
they are strong and they do not let their minds 
wander away to outer objects of pleasure. But I am 
not strong; and I am afraid my mind is bad. 

What people call brain, that too develops by 
exercise and by hard labour. If any student passes 
his examination with good results, without labour, 
then he merely passes his examination, he can 
never get the joy of his studies. It is hard labour 
that gives one the real joy of the student life. Don't 
you remember you were once asked by a man to 
compose a poem for him with his name at the end 
of it as if he was the author of it. He may announce 
to the world that he is the author of the poem, but 
he only remains just an author, the real joy of 
composing it certainly falls to your share. He is like 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

the man who comes by his wealth and does not 
earn it. He has wealth, but not the joy of it. He only 
profits by wealth who earns it by the sweat of his 

Don't cut me off from my studies. Think I have 
gone away from you to foreign countries. Give me 
leave for two years. When the son returns, he is 
yours. When the soldier fights in the battlefield 
with all his soul unmindful whose soldier he is, 
and where the king is and what relation he has 
with him, he is the king's soldier and no one else's, 
he is fulfilling to the best of his power, his fealty to 
the king. That is the case with me. Don't think I am 
disobeying you, in not going to Gujranwala. 

2nd December, 1890. I went to College to-day, 
there is some doubt now as to my being able to get 
a free studentship in the College. The Professor 
(Mr. Gilbert-son) who used to pay into the College 
half of my fees refuses now to help me, as he says 
there is no such work available which he would 
ask me to do for the College and so he would not 
pay my fees in future. But if they can find any 
work for me to do for them, then I get a free 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

4th December, 1890. Got your letter. I know I can 
depend on you. It is you who have either to pay 
my fees in cash or get into others' minds and so 
arrange through the kindness of the Principal and 
the professor, that I may have to pay no fees at all. 

10th January, 1891* Went to College, Persian is 
struck off from the course. Quite glad. It is God's 
great favour. 

18th January, 1891. The Principal has given me a 
free studentship in lieu of some little work of 
copying lectures, I will have to do for them. 

20th February, 1891. Principal has asked Rukan 
Din to see that I don't leave the College before 
taking my physical exercise. The Principal sees me 
grown very ill and extremely weak. 

2nd April, 1891. The University people are 
thinking of reducing the total marks for 
Mathematics from 150 to 130 and increasing the 
marks of other subjects. This means they wish to 
elevate other subjects to the dignity of 
Mathematics. This is awful, distinctly a sin. This 
means they wish to wipe out the sacred difference 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

between work and no work. Our professor of 
Mathematics was telling us that he would fight 
against it— with what results, who knows? 

7th April, 1891. I have been out in the morning for 
a walk. On returning I find, the lock broken, the 
door ajar and all contents by way of brass cup and 
lota all gone. God be thanked my books have not 
been stolen. The thief forgot his cap here. 

9th May, 1891. Lala Ajudhiyadas told me that he 
has seen two houses for me, I have not liked the 
one because Hakim Rai of Chail, an Arya Samajist, 
is living there. The second one is not so 
comfortable as the one in which I am living now. 
And the great defect is that the owner of the 
second house does not propose to take any rent 
from me but wishes that I should act as a tutor to 
his son, which means that for. giving me a free 
house worth Re. 1 per month, he wants to take 
work from me worth Rs. 25 a month say, and 
above all his obligation of giving me a free house 
stands there forever! That is why I don't like to go 
into this second house shown to me. 

11th May, 1891. My bedstead has all gone and its 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

strings broken. So I spent five pice and got it 
strung up. Seeing the new bedstead well strung 
up, I am mighty glad. 

19th May, 1891. To-day when I went to college, all 
my class fellows came around me and said, "Now 
you must come and live in the Boarding House of 
the college, for such are the orders of the 
Principal." After two or three hours, I met the 
college Physician who also told me — "Have you 
not heard of the new orders of the Principal?" And 
I told him I must consult my parents (by parents I 
meant you). The college Physician said — "But in 
any case the Principal's orders have to be carried 

And after the college hours the Principal told me "I 
have ordered this for you, for your good, to come 
and live in the college hostel." The true facts are 
that my class-fellows once came and saw me living 
in this hovel and felt my other difficulties of meals, 
the distance from the college that I have to go 
every day, etc., and it is they that, out of sympathy 
for me, conspired against me and now wish to drag 
me to the hostel. They would not let me live here, I 
would have only to pay Rs. 3-9 all told, for board 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

and lodging there. I know it is all in one's power to 
concentrate his mind in whatsoever environment 
one may choose to live. The hostel is not bad for 
study, many students stood first in the Province 
from there. 

I bought some English books worth twelve annas. I 
have not a single pice with me. I will call upon 
Ajodiya Parshad. 

If, however, you think I should not go to the hostel, 
you may say what reply I should give to the 

23rd May, 1891. As I returned from college and 
opened the door of my room, a snake darted 
towards me. It was a crate, a very poisonous snake. 
I called for help and people came and killed it. All 
people of the college are dead against my staying 
here and wish my going to the hostel. They say if I 
don't change my habit of being able to concentrate 
my mind on my studies anywhere, then it would 
never be possible for me to live amongst men. The 
man who wishes to swim and yet refuses to get 
into water can never learn swimming. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

And they say as the man grows, it is difficult for 
him to get a lonely place and time for solitude all to 
himself. And they induce me to give up my habits 
of living alone all by myself. The college Physician 
was also encouraging me that I would soon get 
accustom-'ed to concentrate my mind while living 
amongst crowds. This is the only fear, otherwise I 
have all other physical comforts in the hostel life. 
In short, it seems my going to the hostel is 
inevitable and I cannot avoid it. You bless me that I 
may be as fit for concen-trating my mind on my 
studies there, as well as I can do here. 

25th May, 1891. I have got all figures out. If I go to 

the hostel: 

(i) I have to pay nothing for the vacation months by 

way of rent, etc. 

(ii) I have to pay for board only as many days as I 

take my meals. If any guest comes to me, I have to 

pay just that much for him. 

I told the Superintendent of the hostel that my 
parents could not afford to pay all expenses, but he 
calculated and found that it; means only Re. 1 more 
per month than I am spending now. And he 
advises that as I could get good food in the hostel, I 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

could reduce some other expenditure of mine by 
Re. 1. And again he promises that he would see 
that I am not put to any more expense, than what I 
have now. And then he reminded me that I would 
not have to buy books, for I could borrow from my 
fellow students and read. And he also offered that 
if I would feel any difficulties, I could change my 
residence again after the vacations. 

5th December, 1891. I have the post-card with me 
to write to you, but I was engaged in solving a very 
abstruse mathematical problem. I could not get 
time to finish off this post-card to you. All other 
college tasks in other subjects are still pending. It is 
after, 24 hours, I have solved the problem and I 
must now get to other college tasks. 

11th February, 1892. 1 have not yet been able to get 
to the college hostel. I may move there to-day. 
There was again a theft in my house. I have lost my 
quilt, bed and mattress, and a few vessels. A set of 
my clothes that was in the bed is also gone. But my 
books are all safe. Lala Jwala Parshad and 
Jhandumal say they would get me new clothes and 
they say, "Goswa miji! Do not worry yourself at all, 
we will do all we can for you." 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

11th June, 1892. To-day some gentleman gave to; 
the Principal Rs. 53 to be given to me. The Principal 
called me and said: "Take this." I asked the name of 
the donor, but the Principal refused to give his 
name out. I think it is the Principal who has given 
this amount to me. I then asked the Principal to 
reserve half of it for the college and only half for 
me. But he did not accept this suggestion. So I took 
the money and gave to Lala Ajodhiya Parshad. 

9th July, 1892. Last night when I went to have a 
cup of milk in the Bazaar, I lost one of my shoes. It 
must have been pushed into the gutter. I tried hard 
to get it but could not find it. Next morning, I had 
to go to college with one shoe of my own and one 
an old woman's which was lying by chance in the 
house. This shoe of mine is very old now. So I went 
and bought a new pair for nine annas and three 

2nd August, 1892. I have joined the college again. 
The college Halwai (confectioner) Jhandumal has 
invited me with great feeling to take my meals 
always at his place. And as he insisted, I have 
agreed to accept his hospitality. I will see how it 
affects me. If I find it proper I will continue to take 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

my meals at his place. 

9th August, 1892. I am taking my meals with 
Jhandumal. He provides the bread of love. When 
you come, if you think I should not accept his 
hospitality, I will give it up. 

9th October, 1892. To-day begins the session of our 
college. I could not talk about getting some tuition 
to any Professor I met Bahadur Chand who told 
me that one Ladha Ram, Executive Engineer wants 
a private tutor for his boy, so I may get it and Rs. 
15 for coaching him for two hours. I do hope 
something will surely turn up in my favour. 

9th October, 1892. The house I was occupying till 
now came down due to heavy rains. Jhandumal 
saved however all my luggage and books. I have 
got no house yet I slept at Jhandumal's last night, 
and took my meals also with him. 

18th October, 1892. I spoke to my Professors 
regard-ing some tuition. They have advised me not 
to think of wasting my time, as the examination is 
near at hand. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

And they say quite truly that my time is more 
precious than earning Rs. 15 a month. 

I am sorry to inform you that I have lost two 
friends lately by death, one Khalilul Rahman, B.A., 
and the other Lala Shiv Ram, B.A. May God have 
mercy on the survivors. These two events are very 

31st December, 1892. A boy of my class has begun 
taking lessons in mathematics from me. I had no 
talk with him regarding remuneration, but he is a 
very good man and he will pay in some way for it. 

Sardar — will complete his examination in a few 
days from now. The class-fellow to whom I began 
giving lessons is very pleased with my way of 
teaching him. He will pay at least so much as 
would be able to defray my house rent and my 
milk bill. Besides Sardar —was asking me to go 
and live with him. When you come here, I will do 
as you bid me. 

23rd January, 1893. When I went to the college, the 
college peon came and told me that Professor Gil- 
bertson wanted me. The class bell had just gone. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Professor Gilbertson gave me a small packet and I 
took it and ran to the class. To-day I had not a 
single pice with me. After three hours when I 
opened the packet, I found Rs. 30 enclosed in it. I 
went to the kind Professor and told him that I 
didn't want so much money and wished to return 
Rs. 20 to him, but he insisted on my taking the 
whole amount. If you come now, you can take 
away this twenty off my hands and if you please, 
you might, out of it, give a few, as many as you 
please, to my mother. I don't send the amount by 
post as I wish you to come here. And I keep Rs. 10 
with me for the reason that I have to pay two 
months* fees. As regards my usual expenses I may 
depend on Jwala Parshad. 

12th February, 1893. I have come to the hostel. I 
will take my morning meals in the hostel and the 
evening meals with Jhandumal. The latter 
gentleman has with very great difficulty permitted 
me to take my morning meals at the hostel. I 
propose to make my native village Murari- Wala 
and not Muraliwala (Murari means God). 

18th February, 1893. Jhandumal has got me 2 
Kurtas and one pair of trousers. And also I am free 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

to wear any clothes of Lala Jwala Parshad. So it is 
all right. 

11th March, 1893. Got my roll number. In the 
house examination, I got 148 marks out of 150 in 

17th April, 1893. (This is a letter from a friend) 
Congratulations Tiratha Rama! You stand first in 
the Province in JB.A. examination. 

11th July, 1893. Bhai — who takes lessons from me 
and had appeared in the middle school 
examination from the Chiefs college, had at first 
failed to get through. But his papers were re- 
examined and he passes. What a joy! 

17th July, 1893. To-day I had gone to the river 
side. And as I was loitering about the Boat bridge 
happily Mr. Bell, Principal of the Government 
college came that way. He met me with great 
courtesy. Had a long talk with me. He talked of my 
spectacles, then asked me why I didn't use an 
umbrella, and so on. It was drizzling. That is why 
he asked me about the umbrella. He asked me to 
get into his carriage and he drove me up to the 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Government College. In the carriage, I recited 
many pieces of English poetry to him that I. knew 
by heart. I told him too I read at least five or six 
books on my subjects in addition to the text books 
that I was then reading. He was delighted to hear 
all this about me. Then he asked me about my 
parents, whether they were rich and my reply was 
that my parents were very poor. He further 
questioned me as to what I intended to do after the 
examination. My reply was that I had no intentions 
about my future. I told him if I had any desire, it 
was to spend my whole life, every breath of it in 
the service of God, to serve man, as the service of 
man was the true service of God. And my best 
service to people would be to teach them 

By this time we reached his house which is in the 
compound of the Government College. He took me 
to the Gymnasium. He showed me his boys taking 
different exercises and asked me what particular 
exercise I took. I told him I took the Charpai 
exercise by lifting up my own bed stead (charpai). 
He asked the boys to get a Charpai. I lifted the 
Charpai in my own way by taking hold of its two 
wooden legs about 100 times in the presence of Mr. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Bell while his boys could not lift more than twenty 
times. After watching these and other exercises of 
the students, he salaamed to everyone and left for 
his house. As he was going, I went forward and 
said to him: " Sir! I thank you very much for all 
your kindness." After acknowledging my thanks 
and accepting my salaam, he went away. 

4th August, 1893. I hear a lot of Anhad Shabad 
here. This place is full of divine peace (Ananda). 

18th August, 1893. I have begun to read Yoga 

25th December, 1893. To-day Dadabhoy Naoroji, 
the Member of the British Parliament, arrived by 3 
o'clock train. He was accorded a splendid reception 
by the city. Enthusiasm of the people knew no 
bounds. The Congress walas gave him as it were, 
the very rank and position of Brahma, and Vishnu. 
Many golden arches were erected at different 
places in the city. And even now he is being taken 
in procession throughout the city. Thousands are 
in the procession. The people are full of great joy; it 
is overflowing. But it has produced no effect on 
me. What for is all this joy? I am grateful to God 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

for this mood of mine. 

30th December, 1893. So you are angry. Forgive 
me, the unripe young man, and overlook my 
mistakes. Men learn to ride only by riding and 
falling. The swimmers get drowned. If you require 
any money, I could send some from here. You 
should not be angry with me. This year I have not 
spent any money on extra books; I have only 
purchased my text books. I had the bad habit of 
buying books and now I have given it up. And I 
always think of spending still less on myself. After 
all I spend a little on milk. I attended the Congress 
simply to hear the great orators and speakers of 
India that had come and to get my own 
impressions about their art of delivery. That day I 
was thankful that I was not moved like the masses 
in empty joys of welcoming Dadabhoy Naoroji and 
now I say that the rhetoric of the Congress 
speakers gave me no joy, no inspiration ; it was 

10th January, 1894. I learnt my sister's death. I felt 
very sad, but it is no good writing about one's 
sorrows. I have wept bitterly for hours. I loved her 
as I loved no one else. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

14th January, 1894, I am in a fix whether I should 
get a new gown for myself for getting the degree. It 
would cost Rs. 70. But it is impossible to get from 
anywhere on loan. I have spent much this year. I 
met Lachhman Das of Chahal. I have not been able 
to get a gown on loan. If possible you may get me 
the gown of Hakim Rai from Chahal. 

My Professor was offering me his gown which, of 
course, is the American pattern. But by a little 
alteration and a new hood which would cost about 
Rs. 5, 1 could make it suitable for my purpose. 

11th April, 1894. I have just read a new couplet. 

The empty handed are higher in rank than the rich. 
For the flask of wine bends its head to fill the 
empty wine cup. 

— Daag 

This means that the wine flask full of wine bends 
low to salute the empty cup when it comes near it 
to be filled! 

30th April, 1894. Lala Ramsaran Das is pressing me 
to go and live with him. He gives me the choice of 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

selecting any room I like. Lala Sahib goes for the 
night to his house in the city, and the banglow is 
guarded by his servants. Lala Sahib is quite a 
little Sadhu, he is so good. 

3rd May, 1894. You did not come. Don't be 
offended for any reasons with me. My pupil has 
passed his B.A. Examination. I am so glad. 

10th May, 1894. Nothing in the world is ours. If we 
want peace, we must consider our body as not 
ours, but His, and pass our days doing His tasks. 

5th June, 1894. Maharajji! God is very good. I like 
Him immensely. He is so sweet. You ought to live 
on terms of peace with Him. He is never harsh. 
Only He is playful and at times what we consider 
our suffering is His humour. I know many things 
about Him now. I will tell you some day. 

On this table at which I am writing this letter, are 
lying a few grains of sugar. And round the sugar 
assembled three or four ants. And they all began 
looking towards my black letters as my pen went 
on writing them on the paper. And they talked a 
lot about it all and as I heard them, I report to you 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

their conversation. 

But at first I may say that though my handwriting 
is very defective and not very nice, to ants it looked 
as wondrous as the paintings of China are to us. 

The very first ant that started the talk was the 
youngest of the lot, a little ant, a mere baby-ant. 
The first baby-ant said: "Look sisters! Look! The art 
of this pen! How it goes on writing round and 
round the beautiful letters. The paper on which it 
writes becomes a dear letter; men lift it and read it. 
It is spreading pearls on paper. What colours, what 
designs! Some letters look like our cousins 
(insects)! Oh how beautiful!" 

Saying this, the first ant became silent. But the 
elder one, with eyes a little bigger, spoke thus: "My 
sisters! You see not! The pen is a dead thing. The 
pen hath no power to paint. It is the two fingers 
holding the pen that are doing this miracle." 

And yet another spoke, wiser than the last two: 
"Both of you are ignorant. The two fingers are like 
two thin round sticks; what can the fingers do? It is 
the wrist above the hand that makes all the fingers 


The Story Of Swami Rama 


And the mother of these ants spoke: "No! No! You 
are all wrong, my daughters! It is that huge trunk 
that does all this." 

When the ants had had their say, then I told them: 
"O my alter egoes! My other bodies! This trunk is 
also dead. It is moved by the soul. All this presence 

is due to the soul! " 


If you wish to come and stay here you are 
welcome. If you want to live there and need a 
servant, nothing better; I am ready to serve you in 
any way you choose. 

I never feel angry with any one, I am very happy. 
People get into tempers and say things in an 
irresponsible way. We should forgive them. You 
must establish peace between yourself and them. 
Whether you accept your meals from them or not 
is a separate question. Do as you please, but you 
must have peace between man and man. The 
ornament of Sadhus is forgiveness. I know God 
will give you great peace. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

6th June, 1894. 1 hope I will see you this Saturday. I 
could not come as first of all I had no holidays. 
Secondly, I have not got my scholarship. And if I 
come home without money, it seems a 
disappointment to everyone nor do I feel happy. 

8th June, 1894. 1 feel very happy. "My desire is that 
the dust of His feet should be the blackness of my 

— (Translated from a Persian couplet) 

31st August, 1894. I live in solitude. You should 
also go and live up on the roof of your house, away 
from the world and study such books as Yoga 
Vashishtha. These books do not lend themselves to 
any reading at all anywhere below the heights of 
the roof. 

27th September, 1894. Yes, the mind wanders. It is 
a difficult thing to control. Better fast. Light food 
and good digestion is half the truth of God. 

13th November, 1894. My father writes to me 
asking me to save Rs. 25 from my smaller 
scholarship and out of my other scholarship to 
save five rupees per month for the next two 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

months and thus save Rs. 10. And thus I should 
make Rs. 35 and he will send me Rs. 15 and so 
should I make up my examination fees of Rs. 50. 
But my submission is that out of Rs. 25* Rs. 12-4 
are deducted for the monthly fees, and Rs. 6 are to 
be further deducted for the days when I was absent 
from college on account of my illness. And then I 
have to get my winter wear and I have to live. Ah! 
il is very difficult to save Rs. 5 per month. I bought 
yesterday my winter wear, a pair of drill trousers, 
one waistcoat and one coat of Kashmir cloth and I 
have spent in all Rs. 7-12. 

I am not going to explain things to my father. I 
hope my uncle and my father-in-law will help. 
Never mind! God will help me, as He has been 
helping me so far. 

16th November, 1894. I could not write to you, as I 
had not a single pice with me to buy a card. 
Tonight at ten, I have come to Lala's office and got 
this card out. I have bought my wear ready-made. I 
had taken a business man with me. The wear is 
quite good. 

7th December, 1894. The delay in writing a letter to 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

you, is due to the fact that I had no pice with me. I 
did not borrow a pice from anyone thinking I 
would get my scholarship in time. As I did not get 
it in time I have borrowed a pice for this post card. 

9th December, 1894. In my opinion, we must not 
think of money when buying books. Whatever and 
however high the price of the book may be, it is 
nothing worth compared with the contents of a 
good book. Remember those old days when people 
spent dozens of rupees to get good copies even of 
small manuscripts. These are hard days for me as 
far as money goes. 

16th December, 1894. So you are angry. What can I 
do? There is not a speck in my heart which I can 
see is making me any way different in my 
treatment of you. But, you continue angry. It is 
best for you to forgive me always. "Your bitter 
words are sweet to me. Your anger cannot harm 
me Beloved! Your poison cannot kill me O 
Beloved!" I say in the name of all I have learnt that 
the real cause of your losing temper lies in your 
stomach. Your digestion is not good. You better 
take the following prescription which has done me 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

3rd January, 1895. To-day Mr. Gilberts on has 
given me a watch with a chain. It is yours; you may 
take this watch or the time-piece I have, whichever 
you Hke. 

18th January, 1895. Don't worry. Whatever may be 
my condition, I would not see you in want of 
money. I met Pandit Gopi Nath. What can he do? 
Something will turn up soon. 

25th June, 1895. Why don't you come and see me. It 
is difficult for me to come. One of the reasons is 
that I have no money. Though it costs only Rs. 2 
but to get together Rs. 2 is so very difficult for me 
these days. 

9th July, 1895. I hear the Professor of Mathematics 
of the Amritsar College is retiring. But this is only a 
rumour. I may get a chance somewhere. Met 
Pandit Din Dayal. He said he knew me already. 

15th July, 1895. The Head-mastership of a 
Peshawar school is vacant, but the salary is very 
small being about Rs. 50-60, per month. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

16th July, 1895. I heard five lectures of Pandit Din 
Dayal. Enjoyed them. 

17th July, 1895. 1 had a talk with Mr. Bell regarding 
the Head Mastership of the Peshawar school. He 
has advised me not to go there. I don't know. Any 
way I am happy. I cannot come to you as I have 
neither time nor money. 

20th July, 1895. Mr. Bell asked me to give him the 
particulars of the Amritsar post. I will consult my 
Professor whether I should go and see the Principal 
of the Amritsar College to get all the particulars. I 
am very sick with cold. Pandit Din Dayal is still 

21st July, 1895. I heard that the Professor of the 
Amritsar College is not retiring for another year. 
Mr. Bell has written to the Director of Public 
Instruction about me. Let it be what God wills. I 
am happy. 

21st October, 1895. (Sialkot). To-day I gave a 
religious lecture under the auspices of the local 
Sanatan Dharma Sabha. Though they had given no 
public notice, the compound was full of men, even 
Deputy-Collectors and other big officials attended. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

I spoke also on patriotism. I saw the eyes of 
people full of tears. 

2nd November, 1895. (Sialkot). I got a reply to-day 
from Amritsar that the vacancy had been filled 
before the receipt of my application for it. 

21st December, 1895. I have got an appointment as 
Professor of Mathematics at Lahore in my own 
college, viz.. Mission college. For this act of 
kindness, I should love God much more. 

23rd December, 1895. (Sialkot). I have taken 
nothing for the last eight days. I live only on milk. 
But I have just been on a thirty mile walk and I do 
not feel tired. 

1st June, 1896. My father is very angry with me 
because I brought my wife with me here. He may 
be coming here, in a day or two. But who knows? 

5th June, 1896. Got your letters. I am entirely yours. 
I don't consider anything as my own. It is no joy to 
me to gather the wealth of this world. It is no 
pleasure to me to get ornaments for my wife. I 
need no furniture either; For me, the shade of a tree 
for a house, ashes for my wear, the bare earth for 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

my bed, and the bread begged from a few doors 
for my food — if I get these I feel very happy. To 
offend you for the sake of money? Tell me to live 
like an ash-covered Sadhu and I start forthwith. I 
would at the same time keep on working in the 
college. Whatever I may get from there is wholly 
yours. Spend it as you please. Give to my wife out 
of it what you like — I am a poor slave, mine is to 
work, work and build a little sacred shrine for God 
in my heart. This inner peace gives me that joy 
which nothing of the outside world can give me. 

The peace I get by my work for God is enough 
salary for me. I let this college salary alone, do 
what you may like with it. I neither increase nor 
decrease by the addition or the subtraction of such 
things. I am joy Absolute. My father is here since 
yesterday. So I cannot come to you. 

11th June, 1896. Your two letters. My father was 
not out of temper. And why should he be? I live 
outside my body. I offered him Rs. 50, the total 
amount I had left with me for the month. I will live 

on fresh credit now. 


20th June, 1896. 1 delivered a lecture in the Mission 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

college. The people were satisfied and the Principal 
instructed me to get it published in a book form. 
20th July, 1896. I lectured here yesterday. Pandits 
Din Dayal, Gopi Nath and others present were 
wonder-struck. All are kind to me. 

6th January, 1897- Sending Rs. 28. Please give half 
to my father. I have promised him. I have got only 
Rs. 3 left for myself. And the whole month is before 
me. I paid no bills of the last month, not a pie! I 
have helped no student. And they are yet angry. 
And complaints after complaints come! I have no 
cook. I am vexed. 

17th April, 1897. The blister on my foot is still 
giving trouble. The result of B.A. Examinations is 
out. Not even 25 % of the candidates get through 
this year in the whole of the Punjab. One of my 
pupils stood third and the other fourth in the 
Province. Many are plucked in Mathematics, my 
subject. I will get no promotion this year. I worked 
so hard but with what poor results; I feel so 
indifferent and sad. 

1st August, 1897. I have come into this new house. 
It is near the stairs of Lord's Feet. (Har Charm ki 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Pohrian, Lahore). It is the glorious Ganga that Hves 
at the feet of the Lord! And it is but meet that 
Tirath Rama {the holy place of Rama) should also 
live at His Feet. Since coming here, I live at His feet 
and I bathe in the holy Ganges of my own self! 

17th August, 1897. If while going through our 
work and business, our mind is immersed in God 
and our feeling cometh not down from those giddy 
heights celestial, then blessed is our life. Otherwise 
human life is certainly fruitless. 

25th October, 1897. (This letter is written to his 
own father.) 

My dear father! Salutations to you! Your letters 
came and with them great joy! The body of your 
son, Tirath Rama is now sold, it is sold to God! It is 
no more his own. Today is Dewali, I have lost my 
body in the gamble, and I have won the Lord God! 
I congratulate you. Now whatever you may need, 
ask from my Master. He will provide you with it or 
will make me send it to you. But for once call 
upon Him with faith. 

For the last 19 or 20 days. He has come and taken 
upon Himself all my tasks, duties and debts. Why 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

will He not do yours too? You must not lose heart. 
As He wills, so all men must work. Maharaj! This 
wealth of Realisation of Life is the wealth of us 
Brahmans, it is not becoming of us to renounce our 
inner wealth and go after the outer. Just enjoy once 
the pleasure of your inner Self. 

23rd August, 1898. (From near Rishikesh above 

You have persuaded me in your letter to come 
home. Your letter has been thrown into the 
running waters of the Ganges. Strange if you ask 
me whether I feel no pain for not keeping up to my 

Pain of what? 

Unknown are the beginnings of these things. 

Unknown are the ends of these things. 

And just known is a little middle of the things 

that seem at present. And so unknown when all is. 

What pain is there? 

What shall the people say? 

'' Jliis letter is in reply to one from Bhagat Dhanna Ram asking 
Swami Rama to return to his home and to his duties in life. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

My reply is in the Urdu Couplet: 

Wearing my own shroud as my turban, 
I have come to the street of the Beloved! 
Let them taunt me as they choose. 
What care I for thousands such! 

You say of obeying you? I am obeying you. From 
the Punjab of my body, I am going fast to the 
Home of God. I am mingling myself with Truth. 

It is about midnight, not a man nor his ghost 
nearby me. Within is the sound of ecstasy in tides, 
without me is the music of the glorious Ganga in 
flow! Within me is peace, peace, peace, within me 
is bliss. It is the Night of my union, it is not dark 
Night, only the Night of Union has thrown the 
black curtain on the face of the world for privacy. 

I mean the Night of Union has effaced both from 
within and without the world. The eyes are the 
rivers of nectar. At least to remind me at such 
times of Bliss of the world! Alas! 

Tell my people to think of meeting me at the centre 
where all meet and not at the circumference where 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

no one can meet. 


Where limpid waters flow like the moonlight silver 
in flood — 

To be sitting on those banks of the river Ganges, 

Where all sounds are hushed at night. 

With my hair on end in joy of His Name, 

Freedom from the pain and presence of earthly 


Saying ''Shiva" ''Shiva" I may weep tears of ecstasy 

And thus fulfil the being of my eyes! 

When would such good days dawn for me! 

— Bharthri Hari 

The kings renounce their thrones to realise this joy! 
The gods pine for the banks of the holy Ganges. 
And is the vessel of my luck alone so shattered to 
pieces, that after having reached here, I should 
think of my duties and false things. 

People come to Tiraths (holy places), Tiraths do not 
go to the people. Tell those of my household that 
they should seek the feet of Tirath Ram (the God of 
holy places) who dwells in Tiraths (holy places), 
that very God. It is only then they can see the Lord 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Tirath Ram! Otherwise not. Till Satya Ganga 
floweth not in my house, I cannot live there, my 
heart cannot beat there. I cannot stop there. 

Nobody does send messages to the dead to return, 
but those who wish to see them die themselves. I 
am dead, I am dead while still in body. Let not my 
people try to call me back. But if they be like me, 
then meeting is quite easy. 

If Murliwala of Murali (his own village) becomes 
Murari - of God - then possibly the one who makes 
Tiraths (holy places) holy might come there. Where 
the Ganges of Peace floweth not, there my coming 
is difficult. After all, all dead bones have to come 
and rest in the Ganges. Why not bring them quite 

willingly when still alive? 


(The following is another letter in a similar strain.) 

Am I alone? 

No pupil now with me! No servant! The human 
habitation is far away! There is not a shadow of 
man here! It is a wilderness, it is deep solitude. The 
night is full of stars, it is mid-night. But am I 


The Story Of Swami Rama 


No! Not I! My maid the rain shower just came and 
gave me a bath! My slave-maid the wind is 
running everywhere. Which is that servant of mine 
who just answered my call— by a loud "Yes sir!" It 
must be a tiger or an elephant. Thousands of my 
servants are encamped with me in these bushes. 
And there they are in the little caves. Why and 
how can I be alone? 

But no! I am alone I There is no slave, servant, no 
friend. It is not the wind, it is I; it is not the 
Ganges, it is I. It is not the Moon, it is I. It is not 
God, it is I, It is not the Beloved, it is I. I am. What 

means Union? I am! The world alone flies! 


Am I idle? 

The Mansarowar of my mind is full of peace. And 
the stream of joy is flowing out of my heart. Every 
pore of mine is bathed in bliss. Vishnu was filled 
with such an infinity of peace that He would not 
hold it within, so the fountain of peace flowed out 
from His Feet in the form of the sacred Ganges. 
Just like Vishnu, Tirath Rama Narayan is being 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

filled with His joy. He cannot gather his joy within 
himself; he is sending the full current of the 
Ganges for the good of the whole world out of 
himself. He sends the cool breeze of prosperity and 
joy. Who says he is idle? I say, pray come and see 
this Tirath Ram and there is salvation for you. He 
is Ganges, He is Rama the ecstacy, the Trance, He 
is Rama the God. 

19th September, 1898, (Hardwar). When I look 
outside, I find every atom resounding with the 
sound — Thou art. Thou art— If I look inward I 
hear, 'I am, I am!" This one great music of the drum 
and the pipe lets me hear nothing else. 

What am I? Where am I? Who lives in my palace? 
Who? There is no entrance to let in here the hows, 
wheres, whys, and whats. The monkeys of 
Hardwar have robbed me of my thinking faculty, 
the Ganges has flooded down my intellect, the 
kites have eaten away my mind, the fishes of the 
river have been offered my ego, my T'. The winds 
have scattered away my sins. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 


THE PEE-MONK DAYS (Continued) 

ONCE he had with him but three pice a day to 
himself for a whole month. "Never mind," he said 
"God wishes to put me to the test. It will suffice for 
me." And in these days he used to go to a Punjabi 
baker's shop and take his morning meal costing 
two pice, and his evening meal costing one pice. 
But after a few days, the baker said: "Get away, 
you come daily and take bread worth three pice 
from me and pay nothing for the pulses I give you. 
You take my pulses free. Go, 1 would not sell you 
any bread." The boy then lived only on one meal a 

In such poverty, he managed to educate himself, 
winning University scholarships, taking private 
tuitions and supported his wife and children, 
served Dhanna of Gujranwala and helped his 
parents too. While yet a student, his father billeted 
his family people on him, as the boy defying the 
wishes of his father had determined to go through 
the college education, while the father had wished 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

him to be a wage earner of the family after his 

It was in his better days at Lahore, that his house 
was infested with guests from his village and he 
had, in his goodness, to entertain them incurring 
fresh debts every month. He was very fond of milk 
himself, so he offered bowls of well-boiled milk to 
every casual visitor that came to him. All seekers of 
wisdom that came stayed with him for his cups of 
milk, as he always offered it with charming 
manners all his own. He was very fond of simple 
wear and of the old Punjab Khaddar; even after his 
graduating, he wore dress of pure Khaddar. He got 
his clothes made and sewn by his wife. And he was 
throughout his short life a severe critic of himself 
allowing no superfluity of desires to stick round 
himself. He spent nothing on himself. In America, 
while working hard on his lectures on Hinduism, 
he would tell his friends, "You can excuse Rama for 
taking but small quantities of milk and fruits every 
day from you." 

It is clear from his struggle for getting a job after 
his taking M.A. in Mathematics, how very difficult 
it is in India for poor students to get a way into 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

actual life. And his letters more or less are of a 
character representative of the general conditions 
of the utter helplessness of the Indian graduates to 
win their bread. Education in India started with the 
Government services as its highest goal, and there, 
too, those were the mere crumbs from the table of 
the Higher Imperial services that fell to the lot of 
the poor children of the soil; and the main function 
of education in India is still to produce slaves to be 
driven by the superior will of the Oxford and 
Cambridge graduates inflicted upon them as the 
necessary result of foreign domination. The 
system of education, therefore, prevalent in India, 
then and now, must be rotten, which cannot 
provide, even till to-day, to its votaries, that much 
freedom of choice of vocation which even a 
common labourer enjoys. The latter must be 
willing to work and his daily bread is his without 
fail, and, after a few hours of labour, he is the 
master of himself, and while working, he knows he 
is his own master and stands no nonsense from his 
employers, except perhaps in large cities where 
capitalistic combinations are enslaving him and 
rendering him helpless. Not so the Indian 
graduate! Fie on the very purpose of education in 
India! As regards his devotion to the person of 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Krishna, Swami Narayan being in close contact 
with him in his latter days at Lahore writes as 
follows: "Swamiji was absorbed day and night in 
his reveries of Krishna. The mere mention of the 
name of Krishna sent him into trance. If he heard 
someone playing on a flute, he was lost in the 
illusion of the player being his Krishna. At Lahore 
for hours he roamed on the bank of the Ravi in 
thought of Him. He was always serious and 
solemn. One of his intimate associates spoke thus 
of his absorption: "Once I saw Swami Rama on the 
banks of the Ravi and the sky was overcast with 
purple clouds. Swami Rama was crying aloud — O 
there is my Krishna! O Krishna! O purple cloud- 
coloured God! This colour of the cloud is Thine. 
This colour maddens me. Why art thou hidden? 
Where art Thou? O cloud! Why dost thou not tell 
me? Thou art floating on heights. Thou canst see 
more than myself. Tell me, tell me, where is my 
Krishna? Aha! I see thou art black, O cloud! 
Because thou also art in pang of separation from 
him. Shall I not see Him, the Beloved! Ah! The 
world would bite me, if I see Him not. To whom 
shall I go and open my heart? O Krishna! For Thee, 
I renounced my relatives and friends, I threw away 
false shame and honour." Seeing the clouds parting 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

he burst again, "O brother cloud! Go, if you are 
going, but tell my Krishna to come and see how it 
rains in my eyes! Tell him, if Thou wishest to have 
the pleasure of the rains. Come and sit in my eyes! 
Here is the black, the white, the red and the raining 

— (An Urdu Couplet) 

O my life! How long! How long! I am impatient. 
Either quench my thirst or send death. Thou givest 
splendour to the Sun, beauty to the Moon, colour 
and perfume to the flowers, wilt thou not grant me 
the vision, the knowledge." Saying Krishna! 
Krishna! At last he fainted away. 

He would shed tears in the ecstasy of his feeling. 
Once listening to a Pandit reciting Ramayan, he 
began crying and so painful was the effect on him 
that the Pandit had to shut his book. 

He once said: 

"O eyes! What use have I of ye, if ye see not 
Krishna, close, close forever. O hands! If ye touch 
not His Feet, of what avail are ye to me? Wither up. 
Be palsied! O Lord! If by giving life, thou comest 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

here, I give it to Thee!" Saying this, he began crying 
and a flood of tears came roUing down wetting his 
shirt, so much so that he fainted away. When he 
awoke, he saw a cobra with his upspread hood 
before him. He leapt towards it saying: "O Lord! 
Come, Thou comest to me in the shape of a 
serpent. O Lord! I wish to see Thee in that beauty 
to which Gopikas came attracted Hke poor moths." 
Saying this he again fainted. 

A friend who was seeing all this entered his room 
and said, "Swamiji! Krishna is within you! What 
are you seeking?" 

"In me!" said the mad man and tore his shirt and 
began tearing his bosom with his nails! 

He again fell in a swoon and was in the helpless 
condition for hours. 

Swami Narayan says that in those days, he once 
heard Swami Rama saying — "Ah! Today I saw 
Krishna. He came when I was bathing and I had a 
full vision of Him. But He came and He vanished, 
leaving me with my wound gaping still more and 
crying for Him. "Swamiji reminded him of Surdas 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

and Miran Bai. 

He was a great student as is evident from his own 
letters. But Swami Rama once narrated to me an 
experience of his student days, which may well be 
recorded here. He said: "Rama had taken at night 
the most abstruse problems in higher mathematics 
and had vowed within himself to solve them 
before sunrise and if he could not solve them, then 
his head must be severed from his body. For the 
latter purpose, a sharp dagger was kept under 
Rama's seat. It was a very wrong thing to have 
done, but Rama tells you it was through such 
discipline, right or wrong, that he passed to get to 
the knowledge he gathered. Well! Three out of the 
four problems were solved by midnight. But the 
fourth gave trouble. Rama had not solved it as the 
light of early dawn peeped through the window. 
True to his vow, Rama got up and took the sharp 
dagger and went on to the roof of the house and 
put the thin point of the dagger on his throat. As 
the dagger just began piercing, it actually caused a 
little abrasion and the blood drops oozed out, and 
Rama was dazed. He saw the solution of the 
problem written in letters of light in air. Rama saw 
the solution and then took it down. It was the most 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

original work ever done. Professor Mukerji of the 
Government College was astonished. Thus did 
Rama, many times and through hard labour, 
acquire the knowledge of mathematics. 

One can understand his pathetic farewell, when he 
sang on the platform of the Lahore station, as he 
was going away from Lahore for ever. 

"Farewell my Mathematics! 

Farewell my wife and children! 

Farewell my pupils and your teacher and his 


Farewell to my God! 

I bid even Thee my farewell." 

Thus he left Lahore bidding adieu to his beloved 
mathematics and his school with tears! 

It was a determined relinquishment of personal 
things, even the study of mathematics most 
personal of all his personal relations, and as we see 
later, it was due to forces other than the organic 
impulse of his own emotional nature. One could 
understand his fondness for solitude and his 
disappearances for months in the forests for 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

communion with and contemplation of the Divine, 
but one fails to find the complete forgetfulness of a 
philosophy-hardened monk in an extremely 
sensitive and poetic nature like his. He checked 
and controlled the infinite elasticity, the 
inconsistency of his poetic person, by his severe 
test of cold, intellectual, impersonal views of life, 
and he stuck to them in spite of himself. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

THE PRE-MONK DAYS (Continued) 

ONE of the causes which led him to seek the robe 
of a Monk, in my opinion, was his meeting with 
Swami Vivekananda at Lahore. 

Swami Vivekananda at Lahore was quite an 
inspiration to the people of the Punjab, his divine 
eloquence, his burning renunciation, his strength, 
the power of personality, his gigantic intellect, all 
made a deep impression on the people. Perhaps his 
lecture on "Vedanta" at Lahore was one of the most 
brilliant pieces of his oratory. It was in those days 
that Swami Vivekananda was made the admiring 
witness of the Amrita ceremony of Guru Gobind 
Singh. In his address, Swami Vivekananda spoke 
of the ''Punjab of the lion-hearted Guru Gobind". 
The Swami was put up at Dhyan Singh's Haveli 
and I distinctly remember to this moment the huge 
number of the turbanned masses of Lahore that 
had assembled in the large hall to listen to the 
Swami. I was then a little boy reading in the college 
for the Intermediate examination of the Punjab 
University. The scene has been impressed 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

indelibly on, my memory. The hall was filled and 
there was an overflow of people in the courtyard. 
People eager to see the Swami pressed each other 
shoulder to shoulder, to pass into the hall. The 
Swami seeing these earnest unmanageable crowds, 
announced that he would lecture in the open air. 
The enclosure, the courtyard of the Haveli, is a 
large one and there is a temple-like structure with 
a raised platform in the centre. The Swami 
ascended on the platform and there he stood 
superb, a giant in his superb physique, robed in 
orange, like a Rishi of old, with his large fairy eyes 
magnetising the very air. He had a dopatta swung 
round him and he had a large orange turban in the 
fashion of a Punjabi. This lion of Vedanta roared 
and thundered for hours, keeping the Punjabis 
spell-bound and lifting them up to the delectable 
heights of his mental eminence. 

Lahore was struck, as was struck far off America, 
by this bold, strong monk who owed his 
inspiration to no less a personage than 
Paramhamsa Ram Krishna. One could see the 
flame of inspiration burning before him in this 
great person. There was in those days one 
Professor Bose's circus playing in Lahore and one 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

of the lectures of Swami Vivekananda was on 
"Bhakti" in Bose's circus tent. 

I did not know Swami Rama then, but it was he 
who arranged all those lectures and he was of 
opinion that Swami Vivekananda was at his best 
while speaking on Vedanta for that was his subject. 
Swami Rama told me: "While going back with him 
to Dhyan Singh's Haveli from Bose's circus, I told 
Swamiji that in his lecture on Bhakti he was not yet 
at his best. It was then after this, that his lecture on 
Vedanta was announced." This visit of Swami 
Vivekananda, no doubt, strengthened the silent 
ambitions of the young Swami Rama of leading the 
life of a monk, and to go round the world, 
preaching Vedanta like Vivekananda. Swami 
Vivekananda had already defined Vedanta from a 
practical point of view and just as modern 
educated India, by the contact of the West, has 
discovered the greatness of Bhagavad-Gita in its 
gospel of duty, so did Swami Vivekananda 
interpret Shankaracharya's Advaita Vedanta 
Philosophy in the terms of Bhakti, Karma and even 
patriotism and humanity. Swami Vivekananda 
was the first to apply Vedanta even to politics. And 
it was after meeting with Swami Vivekananda, that 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Swami Rama made up his mind definitely. He had 
found an exemplar and an interpreter of the 
comprehensive kind of Advaita Vedanta that he 
was already evolving within himself. It was the 
example of Swami Vivekananda that gave tongue 
to his dumb self-realisation and then he went 
roaming in the Himalayas and he came down 
preaching the same practical Vedanta which 
Swami Vivekananda preached, but with an 
inspired madness, divine, all his own. Swami 
Rama gave a fresh and still ampler interpretation 
of Vedanta on the lines chalked out by Swami 
Vivekananda. Swami Rama, however, does not 
command that beautiful language and diction of 
Swami Vivekananda, nor his eloquence, nor his 
all-disconcerting humour and wit, nor his great 
animal strength, but Swami Rama excelled him 
in inspired cheerfulness, in the beam of the 
Unknown that played on his forehead, in the 
sweetness of song, in the shy maidenly grace of 
Bhakti, that liquid emotion that washed clean all 
worldly thought out of him, leaving him again 
and again in a state of silent ecstasy. Swami 
Vivekananda excelled him as a philosopher, as a 
speaker, as a lion-hearted monk, but Swami Rama 
excelled the former in his deep inspired ecstasy 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

which was at the back of his sweet poetic spirit of 
cheerfulness, sympathy, kindly manners and a 
perfection of attunement with his environment. 
The intellectual kinship between them was, 
however, so great that we find them both 
delivering the identical message of the Vedanta in 
their world-tours, and even their exhortations to 
their countrymen on patriotism and nation-making 
are very similar. As said above, Swami Rama had 
caught the fire of Swami Vivekananda's orange 
robe at Lahore, and it was after about two years 
that he too turned a monk, he - a married man with 
all the passion of, a poet, with a mind and a will 
that both melt into liquid silver by the fire of his 
emotions — turned a monk. As said elsewhere, it 
was certainly a step taken as the result of an 
extraneous impulse, rather than the immediate 
outcome of his own normal inward mental or 
spiritual advancement. 

Thus, born in a very poor Brahman's family in the 
Punjab, he was the patient architect of himself from 
childhood to manhood. He built himself little by 
little, moment by moment, and day by day. It may 
be said that perhaps the whole career of his future 
life was in a way sketched already before his 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

mind's eye, because even as a boy he was working 
so gravely, and so consciously for a definite 
mission. There was the resolution of a riper mind 
in the steps of the poor Brahman boy who faltered 
not under any circumstances, and who was never 
daunted by any difficulties. He was a typical 
student who loved to study not with any hope of 
gaining worldly ends, but for satisfying the ever- 
growing thirst for knowledge which was firing his 
soul anew with every new sun. His daily studies 
were sanctified oblations on the altar of his Havan 

He would forego an extra suit and an extra loaf or 
even a day's meal for the sake of oil for his 
midnight lamp to read his books. It was not 
unoften in his student life that he kept absorbed in 
his studies from sunset to sunrise. There was 
that love of knowledge which pulled strongly at 
his heart so much that the ordinary comforts and 
physical needs of student life were entirely 
forgotten. Hunger and thirst, cold and heat could 
not tell upon this supreme passion that he felt 
towards knowledge. There are witnesses of his 
student life still living at Gujranwala and Lahore, 
who say that the pure-minded Goswami toiled 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

unarmed and alone day and night, fighting with 
life without the sinews of war, and they remember 
the occasions when even in this country of boasted 
charity, the poor Brahman boy had for many a day 
little or nothing to eat, though every muscle of his 
face always exhibited an ineffable joy and 

The knowledge, therefore, that Swami Rama brings 
to bear upon his teachings in after life was 
gathered grain by grain with the greatest penance 
and the hardest labour and is full of intense pathos 
for us, remembering as we do the extremely 
penurious and thorny life in which he managed to 
bloom up as a poet, philosopher, scholar and 
mathematician. When the Principal of the 
Government College, Lahore, offered to send up 
his name for the Provincial Service, Rama 
expressed himself with a bent head and a moist eye 
that he had not toiled so much for selling his 
harvest but for distributing it. He would therefore 
prefer being a teacher to being an executive official. 
Enjoying perfect intellectual isolation from his 
surroundings even as a student, Rama lived by 
himself keeping company only with the greatest of 
men through his books. He looked neither to the 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

right nor to the left being wholly absorbed in his 
own high pursuits. He set his life in tune with his 
ideals. All who knew him in his student life 
reverently acknowledged the transparent purity of 
his character and moral purpose of his life. In his 
student life, Swami Rama was growing inwardly. 
He was melting and casting and melting and 
casting his life again and again into moulds of 
perfection. He went on chiselling day and night to 
shape out the curve lines of his model and to finish 
its beauty. 

From good to better, he stood daily self -surpassed. 
When he became a Professor of Mathematics the 
very first pamphlet he wrote was "How to Study- 
Mathematics". The lesson he teaches there is that 
overloading the stomach with greasy and rich 
stuffs makes even an intelligent student unfit and 
dull, while, on the other hand, light food always 
gives a free and uncongested brain which forms 
the secret of a successful student life. He says that 
purity of mind is another essential condition for 
securing proper attention to work, and devoid of 
this one element no methods would be able to keep 
the mind in the proper mood of a student. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Thus he condenses the experience of his student 
life in such simple pieces of advice as we find in 
the said pamphlet- He does not write for writing's 
sake, nor speak for speaking's sake, but he takes his 
pen or opens his lips only when he has something 
to give. 

As a Swami we see him always living in the divine 
and we do not recognise in him the humble and 
shy student boy that he was. His voice has grown 
powerful, his character eloquent, his realisation 
inspiring and his person magnetic over and over. 
His presence charmed the very atmosphere around 
him- In his company, the seasons of one's mind 
shifted in a beautiful panoramic rotation. Now the 
the spell of sincerity moved the audience to tears 
and now to $miles of supreme satisfaction. He 
succeeded like a poet in exalting in our eyes the 
commonest things into the highest Avataras of 
divinity. Some people by his touch got tastes of a 
poet, others of a painter, some of a mystic and 
some of a soldier. Many common minds felt 
inspired to such an extent that they felt a distinct 
increase in their mental power. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 


SWAMI RAMA loved mountains. He scaled 
the Gangetic glaciers, the great Bander Puchh, and 
from Jamnotri he returned to Gangotri by crossing 
the tops of the intervening glaciers. In America, he 
scaled the Shasta Mountains. On his return to India 
from there, he again climbed to the Sahstaru Tal 
from which flows out the Billing Ganga. That 
Swami Rama who in his young student life, was 
physically so weak and frail, suddenly got the 
enthusiasm to play upon the bosom of the glaciers 
of the Himalayas and go there to the eternal snows, 
ill-clad, almost bare, defying the snow storms, 
shows, apart from his self-discipline, the flame of 
inspiration in him burning in its imperishable fire. 
His passion for mountaineering is a symbol and a 
symptom of his inner life that rose in its superb 
glow to kiss the eternal snows of the Himalayas 
with such an insatiable pleasure. 

On his return to the plains, he was photographed 
at Lucknow. Though no photograph can truly 
interpret the man, yet it gives a general impression, 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

and in this Lucknow impression, he looks as holy 
as a snowpeak. Different from this face of his are 
all others that the camera could catch. There is the 
bloom of snows on his temples, in this portrait of 
his. I see the invisible light of Krishna Avesh in his 
eyes here. 

He wrote the following letters while living in the 
Himalaya mountains: 

September, 1901. 

The holy Ganges could not bear Rama's separation. She 
succeeded at last in drawing him to herself after a little 
more than a month's absence. Notwithstanding all her 
culture, she began to rain sweet tears of joy on meeting 
him. Who can describe the nascent beauty and playful 
freaks of the dear Ganges at Gangotri? Very 
praiseworthy is the upright character of her playmates, 
viz. the White Mountains and innocent Deodar trees. 
The latter in their tall stature vie with the Persian poeVs 
lady-love, while their balmy breath invigorates, 
exhilarates, and elevates. 

Pilgrims after leaving Jamnotri, usually reach Gangotri 
in not less than ten days. In three days after leaving 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Jamnotri did Rama arrive at Gangotri. He came by a 
route as yet untrodden by any inhabitant of the plains. 
This route is called the Chhayan Route by 
mountaineers. Three successive nights were passed in 
lonely forest caves. We came across no hamlet or hut* 
No biped was visible throughout the journey. 

The Chhayan Route is so called because almost all the 
year round it is covered with shade. The shade of trees, 
did I say? The route is for the most part enveloped by 
clouds. Shepherds of villages near Jamnotri and 
Gangotri, while tending their flocks, every year spend 
two are three months in forests. They happened to meet 
near the snow-clad peaks, called Bandar Puchh and 
Hanuman Mukh, which connect the sources of the two 
far-famed sister rivers. Thus the route was discovered. 
Exuberant flowers make almost the whole of the way a 
veritable field of cloth of gold. Yellow, blue, and purple 
flowers are met with in wild plenty. Lots of lilies, 
violets, daisies, and tulips of different varieties; Guggal, 
Dhoop, Mamiri of lovely tints; Saffron, Itrasoo, and 
other plants exhaling exceedingly sweet scent; Bher 
Gadda and lordly Brahma Kanwal with its calyx filled 
with fine icicles of frost: all these make these mountains 
a pleasure garden worthy of the Lord of Earth and 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

. . . At places the pulse of fragrance that comes and goes 

on the airy undulations affected Rama like sweet music. 

Here one will find in rich abundance wind-wafted odour 

which is sweet and soft; " sweet as the smile when fond 

lovers meet, and soft as their parting tears. " Vair fields 

on the tops of these giant mountains are stretched like 

decorated carpets. Do they serve the Gods as dining 

tables or as dancing grounds? Murmuring streams and 

rivers thundering over precipices are not missing in 

these fairy scenes. On certain summits, the vision enjoys 

perfect freedom, unimpeded it travels, far and wide on 

all sides, no hills to stand in its way, no angry clouds to 

mar its course. Some of the grand peaks in their zeal to 

pierce the sky and cleave the cloud-land have, altogether 

forgotten as it were to stop; and appear to melt into the 

highest heavens. 

^ * * * * 

The present dwelling of Rama is a snug cottage, in the 
mountain amphitheatre, surrounded by a greensward in 
a lonely natural garden commanding a fair view of the 
Ganges . . . Ram Buti grows in profusion here. Sparrows 
and other birds twitter heartily all the day long. The 
climate is bracing. The song of the Ganges and the 
chorus of birds keep up a celestial festival all the time. 
Here the Ganges valley is very broad, Gangi flows in a 
vast Maidan so to speak. The current, however, is very 
swift. Still, it has several times been waded across by 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Rama. Kedar and Badri have often invited Rama Badsha 
most aiffectionately. But dear Gangi at the very 
thought of separation, feels sorrowful and crest-fallen, 
and Rama does not like to displease her and see her 

Sumeru Visited 

While living in the Jamnotri Cave, Rama's daily food 
was Marach (red-pepper) and potatoes once in twenty- 
four hours. This brought on indigestion. On the fourth 
day of ill-health early in the morning, after bathing in 
the hot springs, he started on his trip to Sumeroo, 
wearing no clothes except a Kaupin (a rag round the 
loins), no shoes, no head-dress, no umbrella. Five strong 
mountaineers, having warm clothes on, accompanied 
him. Narayan and Tularam were sent back down to 

To begin with, we had to cross the infant Jumna three or 
four times. Then the Jumna valley was found blocked up 
by an enormous avalanche about forty-five yards in 
height and one furlong and a half in length. Steep 
mountains like two vertical walls stood proudly on both 
sides. Have they conspired to deter Rama Badshah from 
advancing further? Never mind! All obstructions must 
disappear before a strong adamantine will. We began to 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

climb the Western mountain wall. Now and again we 
could get absolutely no foot-hold and had to support our 
bodies partly by catching hold of the twigs of fragrant 
but thorny rose bushes, and partly by entangling our 
toes in the tender blades of the soft mountain grass 
called Cha. At times we were within an inch of sure 
death. A deep abyss with the cold bed of snow filling the 
Jumna Valley was as a grave wide agape just ready to 
give too hospitable a reception to any one of the party 
whose foot might tremble ever so little. From beneath the 
slow, faint, murmuring sound of the Jumna was still 
reaching our ears like the death dirge of muffled drums. 
Thus we had to move along in the jaws of Death, as it 
were, for three-quarters of an hour. Strange situation 
indeed. Death, staring us in the face on one side and the 
air redolent with sweet scent, refreshing and animating, 
on the other. By this circuitous, dangerous enterprise, 
we reached at last beyond the awful avalanche. Here the 
Jumna left. The party ascended a steep mountain. There 
was no road, no foot path, nothing of the kind. A thick 
dense forest was passed where we could not see the wood 
of the trees Ramans body received several scratches. 
After a little more than an houfs struggle in this forest 
of oak and birch trees we reached open ground covered 
all over with smaller growth. The atmosphere was 
charged, rather saturated with delicious odours. The 
ascent put all the mountaineers out of breath. Even 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Rama felt it to be good exercise. Inclines of 80° and even 
more had to he scaled. The ground was for the most part 
slippery. But all around the stately vistas and charming 
flowerage and teeming foliage beguiled the hard journey. 

What about the health of Rama who had been ailing? He 
was all right that day, no disease, no fatigue, no 
complaint of any kind. No mountaineer can go ahead of 
him. We went on climbing and climbing till every one of 
the party felt hungry. By this time we had reached a 
region where it never rains but snows in gracious 

There was no trace of vegetation of any kind on these 
bald, bleak heights. There had been a fresh snow-fall 
before our arrival. 

A red blanket was spread on a big slab of stone as a 
carpet for Rama. Potatoes that had been boiled the night 
before were given him to eat. The companions took their 
stale simple food most thankfully. 

.... Just after finishing the meals we were up again. 
Moving steadily onward and upward we toiled on. One 
young man fell down exhausted, his lungs and limbs 
refused to carry him any further; he complained also of 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

giddiness of head. He was left alone there at that time. 
Proceeding a little further, another companion fell 
senseless. ''My head/' he said, "reels and reels". He also 
was left to himself for the time being. The rest marched 
on. After a short while a third companion fell off. His 
nose began to bleed. With two men Rama presses on. 

Three beautiful Barars (mountain stags) are seen most 
excellently flitting past. 

A fourth companion lags behind, and at last lies down 
on snow-covered stones. No fluid water is visible round 
about, but a deep gurgling sound is audible from under 
the stones where the man lies. One Brahman still 
accompanies Rama, carrying the afore-mentioned red 
blanket, a telescope, a pair of green glasses, and a 
hatchet. The air becomes very thin to breathe. Strange 
enough, two Garurs flew over our heads here. A tedious 
slope of old, old snow, of dark bluish colour has to be 
mounted. The companion begins to cut steps in the 
slippery snow in order to make it possible to plant our 
feet thereon. But the ancient glacier is so rigid that the 
poor man's hatchet breaks down. Then and there we are 
overtaken by a snow storm. The man's heavy heart is 
cheered up by Rama with the assurance that Providence 
wanted to do more good than harm through the 
snowfall. And so it proves. The threatening snow-fall 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

makes it easier for us to trudge along. With the aid of 
pointed Alpine sticks we mount the slope, and lol There 
lie before us fair, flat, extensive fields of dazzling snow, 
miles upon miles in width. A resplendent floor of silver- 
snow shining all-round. Joy! Joy! Is it not an ocean of 
radiant milk, splendid, sublime, wonderful, and 
wonderful! Ramans joy knows no bounds. He runs on at 
his full speed on the glaciers at this time, putting on his 
shoulder the red blanket and wearing canvas shoes. 

There is no one in his company now. The swan of soul 
flies all alone at last''. 

For nearly three miles he walks over the snows. 
Sometimes the legs get immersed and have to be drawn 
out not without struggle. At last on a snowy mound, the 
red blanket is spread, Rama sits on it, all alone, above 
the noises and turmoils of the world, beyond the fumes 
and furies of the multitude. Perfect silence reigns here. 
What a Shakti prevails. So sounds of any kind audible 
except the Anand ghanghor. Most blessed serene 

The veil of clouds becomes a little less thick. The rays of 
the sun sift through the thin clouds and fall on the scene 
and immediately turn the silver snows into burning 

From Urdu 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

gold. Very appropriately has this place been called 
Sumeroo, or the Mountain of Gold. 

O ye men of the world, mark it, no purple bloom on a 
lady's cheek, no bright jewellery or fine ornaments, no 
superb mansion can ever possess an iota of the 
transcendent enchantment and fascination of this 
Sumeroo. And numberless Sumeroos like this you will 
find within you when once you realise your own real 
self. All nature shall do you homage ''from cloud to 
cloud, from the blue sky to the green earth, all living 
creatures therein included from the eagle to the mole". 
No god shall dare disobey you. 

Bhim Tal After leaving Tehri. 

To-day is finished a pleasant tour, trip, or a short walk 
of 600 miles over the Uttra Khand hills. 

It is noon just now. The wide lake of Bhim Tal is ablaze 
in the golden rays of the shining sun. Young hills 
veiling their faces by green shawls stand wonderingly 

A small white coloured boat, bearing Rama floats on the 
broad, smooth un-wrinkled surface of the lake like the 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

crescent moon on the forehead of Mahadeva. 

Swami Rama wrote the following letters from the 
Himalayas when he went up there again after his 
return from America. 

Vashishtha Ashram 

This evening it stopped raining. The clouds, assuming 
all sorts of fantastic shapes and different degrees of 
thickness, have somewhat parted in different directions. 
Light refracted and reflected from them makes the entire 
scene a blazing sphere of glory* Then the playful 
children of heaven put on fascinating colours of all 
varieties. What painter could paint, what observer could 
note all the passing shades and hues? Look where you 
will, the eyes are charmed by the orange, purple, violet, 
and pink colours and their indescribable varieties, while 
between these the ever-welcome blue background is out 
here and there. The effulgent glory brings on ecstasy, 
and tears of joy appear in Ramans eyes. The clouds 
dissolve, but leave a permanent message behind. They 
brought a cup of nectar from the Lord and went back to 
Him. Such are in fact all attractive objects. They appear, 
reflect Ramans glory for a second and dissolve. Insane 
indeed must he be who falls in love with the passing 
clouds, and yet folks endeavour to hold fast to the 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

unsteady clouds of seeming things and cry like children 
on finding them gone. How amusing! 01 I cannot 
suppress a laugh. 

Others again expend all their time in minutely 
observing and faithfully noting down the smallest 
details of the transitory changes in clouds (phenomena). 
O mel What are these creatures? There is a flood of 
glory around them and yet they care not to slake their 
raging thirst for light. These are what they call scientists 
and philosophers. Being too busy in splitting hairs they 
take no notice of the glorious head of the Beloved to 
which the hair belongs. 01 I cannot suppress a laugh. 
Happy he, whose vision no clouds of names and forms 
could obstruct, who could always trace the attracting 
light to its true source, the Atman, and whose affections 
reach the goal (God) not being lost in the way like 
streams dried up before reaching the sea. The pleasing 
relations must vanish. They are only postmen. Miss not 
the Lord's love-letter they have brought for you. The 
match-stick must soon burn off, but blessed is he who 
has lighted his lamp permanently therewith. The steam 
and food must simply erelong be consumed, but 
fortunate is the boat which before the fatal loss reaches 
the Home -the Harbour. He lives who could make of 
every object whatever a stepping stone to God, or rather 
a mirror to see God. The world with all its stars, 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

mountains, rivers, kings and scientists, etc., was made 
for him. Verily it is so, I tell you the truth. 

The field and landscape (and therein lies their refreshing 
charm as contrasted with the sickening smoky-streets of 
cities) excite not in man the sense of limitation and they 
drive him not into the corner (bodyhood). Man in their 
presence, can well occupy the position of a Witness- 
Light. Inwardly the vegetable kingdom has as much, and 
perhaps more, of strife and struggle, and unrest, etc., 
than a civilised human society, but even its struggles 
become interesting only in so far as a man among the 
cedars, oaks, and pines easily sees himself not one of 
them, but keeps himself the Witness-Light unconcerned. 
He who can live in the busy streets as anybody might 
move in forests, feeling the Self as a disinterested 
Witness-Light, not identifying himself with the body, 
which in this case may be taken as a plant among plants, 
who could deny that the Universe is a Garden of Eden to 
him? Such people of God-life are the light of the world. 
The Light which appears as an unconcerned witness is 
the very life of all that it witnesses. 

The river of life is flowing. None exists but God. Of 
whom shall I be afraid? All life is my God's life, nothing 
other. He and Me too is He. The whole world is my own 
Himalayan woods. When Light dawns, flowers begin to 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

laugh, birds sing, and streams dance with joy! O that 
Light of lights! The sea of Light is flowing! The breeze of 
Bliss is blowing! 

In this beautiful forest, I laugh and sing, clap hands, 
and dance. 

Did they jeer? It was the blowing of the breeze. Did they 
sneer? It was the hissing of leaves. Shall I be 
overshadowed by my own life pulsating in the streams 
cedars, birds, and breezes ? 

The top of Bosun - Vashishtha Ashram 

The moon is shining, spreading a sea of silvery peace. 
The moonlight falls full on Rama's straw bed. The 
shadows of unusually tall, white rose bushes which 
grow fearlessly free and wild on this mountain, are 
checkering the moon-lit bed and flickering so playfully 
as if they were nice little dreams 

of the placid moonlight that sleeps so tranquilly before 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Sleep, my baby sleep! 

And smile with rosy dreams! 

Jamnotri, Gangotri, Sumeroo, Kedar, and Badri glaciers 
stand so close as if one could reach them by hand. In 
fact, a semi-circle of glaring diamond peaks like a 
jeweller's tiara decorates this Vashishtha Ashram. Their 
white snowy summits are all taking a bath in the milky 
ocean of moonlight and their deep Soham breathings in 
the form of cool breezes reach here continually. 

The snows on this mountain have all melted off, and by 
this time the vast open field near the top is completely 
covered with blue, pink, yellow, and white flowers, some 
of them being very fragrant. People are afraid of coming 
here, as they believe this place to be the Garden of 
Fairies. This idea saves this pleasure-garden of the 
Devas from being haunted by the sacrilegious spoilers of 
nature's beauty. Rama walks over this flower-bed very 
softly with great caution, lest any tender smiling little 
flower be injured by ungentle tread. 

Cuckoos, doves, and numerous other winged songsters 
entertain Rama in the morning, sometimes in the 
mornings a huge dragon fly comes up near the roof of 
the cave and entertains Rama with his peculiar Persian- 
wheel-like music. The eagles (royal Garurs) soaring high 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

up, touching the dark clouds at noon — are-they not 
the Garurs hearing Vishnoo on their hack? 

What a fair colony the hlooming forest giants form 
round yonder mountain pond! What hond unites them? 
They have no connection with each other, no personal 
relationships. They have a social organisation, as it 
were, only in so far as they send their roots to the self- 
same pond. The love of the same water keeps them 
together. So let us meet in devotion to the same Truth — 
meet in heaven, in heart, in Rama. 

Jagadevi Lawn 

All the caves near the top of the Basun Mountain heing 
engulfed hy the rains, Rama had to quit the Garden of 
Fairies at the top. He came down to a most lovely lofty, 
level lawn where hreezes keep playing all along! 
Jasmine, white and yellow, grows wild here together 
with various other sister flowers. Straw-herries, crimson 
rose-herries are found in ripe plenty. On one side of the 
newly huilt hut a neat greensward extends far in 
gradually ascending slope hetween two rushing streams. 
In front is a charming landscape, flowing waters, fresh- 
foliage-covered hills, undulating forests and fields. 
Clean smooth slahs of stone on the lawn form the royal 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

tables and seats for Rama. If shade be needed, spreading 
groves furnish cheerful accommodation. 

In three hours a hut was prepared by the shepherds 
living in the forests. They made it rain-proof to the best 
of their power. At night a severe rain-storm set in. 
Every three minutes lightning flashed, followed by 
rolling thunder at which each time the mountains shook 
and trembled. This Indra Vajra kept up its continual 
strokes for over three hours. Water poured madly. The 
poor hut leaked, its resistance to the storm became so 
ineffective that an umbrella had to be kept open all the 
time under the roof to save the books from being 
drenched. The clothes became all wet. The ground being 
grass covered could not turn muddy, yet it was drinking 
to its full the water drops drizzling continuously from 
the roof. Rama is enjoying very nearly the ^^fish^^ and the 
'^tortoise'' life. This experience of the aquatic life for the 
night brings joy of its own. 

Count one night less from the full span of your life and 
sleep not at all. 

Blessed is the storm to keep us up in the Lord's 

Translated from the Persian 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

''Not for any price could I, O Mountain-mover, give 
Thee 'up, not for a thousand, Thunderer! nor ten 
thousand, nor hundred times that, O Lord of countless 

Whether, O Shakra (Almighty) thou be far (in roaring 
clouds), or, O Vritra-slayer {i.e., doubt-destroyer), near 
at hand (in blowing winds); here, heaven penetrating 
songs (piercing prayers) are being sent as long-maned 
steeds for thee to (ride on and) come sharp to one who 
has pressed out the juice (of his existence) for thee. 
Come, sit in my heart and drink of the wine of my life 

Man is not meant to waste all his time in petty fears and 
cautions; how shall I live and oh! what shall become of 
me, and all such foolish nonsense. He ought to have at 
least as much self-respect as fishes and birds and even 
trees have. They grumble not at storm or sunshine, but 
live as one with nature. My Atman, I myself am the 
pouring rain. I flash. I thunder. How beautifully awful 
and strong I am. Sivoham songs gush forth from the 

No day or night passes without bringing a heavy shower 

Translated from Sanskrit. 

" Translated from Sanskrit; Swami Ramans interpretation 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

of rain. And as described in the first sloka of Kalidas 
quoted above, Rama is often caught by showers in his 
daily climbs up the hill. But there being no caves in the 
near neighbourhood he has to take the very clouds for his 
umbrella and to enjoy the showers as his. 

Happy the cedars and pines as described in the second 
sloka, which though quivering and shivering offer their 
bodies as a target for the cool showers of the Ganges 

O the good fortune to bare our bosom before raging 
coolness, stormy grace! 

July, 1906, 

To travel on almost heaven-high ridges for miles and 
miles, viewing the waving forests of birch and juniper 
spreading far below, flowery precipices lying on the 
right as well as on the left; to walk bare-footed on 
extensive fields covered with soft velvety grass where 
loving dainty flowers cling to your feet getting 
entangled in the toes, to enjoy the silvery sights of the 
rushing waterfalls on distant Kailas cliffs; to watch 
clever little musk deer springing at lightning speed 
before you — well might the moon ride such a beautiful 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

runner; to he startled now and then by Garuras (royal 
eagles) fluttering their large painted wings now on this 
side, now on the other; to stoop to pick every now and 
then Kailas lotuses Brahma Kanwal which in their 
lovely petals combine gold and fragrance; to be amused 
at the coolies outdoing each other in digging Masi, 
Lesar, Quggal, the different kinds of incense which 
abound here in charming plenty; and to sing hymns and 
chant OM, engaged our time. Far, far above the din and 
bustle of worldly life; deep and vast blue lakes in their 
crystalline expanse, rippling under the pure and free 
Kailas air, surrounded by chaste, virgin snows hold a 
mirror up to the very face of the blooming, blushing 
Sun. In such lofty solitude serenely does the Sun enjoy 
his charming glory. On such heights, no hamlet or hut 
could be expected; nights were passed in caves where 
breezes sleep. 

01 The joy of leaving behind the prosaic plains of 
parching body-consciousness! 01 The joy of mingling 
with the sun and breezesl 01 The joy of roaming in the 
heavenly infinite forest deeps of Ekamevadvitiyam (One 
without a second)! 


The Story Of Swami Rama 


SWAMI RAMA fled away from his house, thereby 
offending his father, to join one of the colleges at 
Lahore for higher University education as we have 
in India. For one full year, he did not return to his 
village Muraliwala. And in this heroic escape and 
endeavour, he was helped by his maternal uncle 
Raghunath Mai and his quaint philosopher-friend 
Dhanna Mai of Gujranwala. In the second year of 
his college life, he wrote to his uncle: "My greatest 
need is a solitary place to study and my greatest 
want is time. O God! Let there never be any dearth 
of the three things for me (i) solitude, (ii) time, and 
(iii) will to acquire knowledge. O uncle! This is my 
inmost desire, the rest is known to God." 

He passed the Intermediate examination, standing 
first in the Province, in 1890. 

A little later, his father, impatient of his settling in 
life, and wild with his resolution to go up for still 
higher education came and left his wife at Lahore 
with him, and declined all help in supporting this 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

ardent student. Swami Rama had been married at 
the village Viroki, when he was quite a small boy. 

He passed his degree examination in 1893; on his 
second chance, his first chance having been lost by 
a slip of the University Regulations. 

It is said, in this examination, the examiner had set 
thirteen problems and given a note to the 
candidates to attempt any nine. Swami Rama did 
all the thirteen with a note to the examiner that he 
may-examine any nine. 

He wrote to his father "Your son stands first in the 
Province and gets Rs. 60 as scholarship. This is due 
to divine help. Such results are not the outcome of 
any personal efforts." 

At the same time, he writes to his true patron, his 
maternal uncle: "I will get two scholarships, one for 
Rs. 25 and one of Rs. 35 per month. This is all God's 

He joined the Government College, Lahore, for his 
M.A. in Mathematics. It was in May, 1893, when he 
was 19 years of age. He applied for the State 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Scholarship to go to England to compete for the 
Blue Ribbon in Mathematics, but someone else got 
the scholarship. Later in his life he told me ''Rama 
thought of becoming a senior wrangler, but if this 
body did not, another Indian (meaning Mr. 
Paranjpye) won it. It is thus that the desires of a 
desireless person are fulfilled". 

He writes on 18th February, 1894: ''There is 
nothing in the world on which one could depend. 
They are blessed by God who put their faith in 
Him alone. They are the True Saints. At the feet of 
such holy men, the world with all its paraphernalia 
crouches in entire submission." 

While in the Government College, he began living 
on milk diet alone, gave up wheaten bread but 
occasionally indulged in boiled rice. His fare was 
very simple and light, and his dress still simpler. 
He always wore coarse and cheap Khaddar. 

In 1895, he took up a job of school master and went 
to Sialkot and took up his appointment as second 
master, in the Mission High School. It is here that 
he had to borrow a paltry sum of Rs. 10 from a 
friend, who readily lent it to him. As long as he 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

was at Sialkot, he paid every month Rs. 10 to his 

From Sialkot he writes to his uncle thus: "The 
Sanatan Dharma Sabha of Sialkot has got some 
new life from my presence. I get intoxicated after I 
do my little work for them. Before this intoxication, 
the very kingdoms seem valueless. All people both 
Indians and English are quite contented with me 
and all are kind." 

In 1896, he became the Superintendent of the hostel 
as he writes to Dhanna Mai, "The Mussalman 
Superintendent of the Boarding house did a wrong 
thing in getting beef cooked in the premises and 
this gave a deliberate offence to the Hindu 
students. He is sent away and I am to take his 

In 1896, he was called to take the chair of 
Mathematics in the Mission College, Lahore. 

He always went to the Hills and spent his long 
summer holidays in Kashmir and at Amarnath. He 
would often go to Hardwar and Rishikesh and 
spend his time in utter solitude. After some time, 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

he gave up this Professorship, as its onerous duties 
"were incompatible with his desire for a Hfe of 
contemplation and communion with nature. He 
then took up the Readership in the Oriental 
College which meant only 2 hours' work a day, and 
gave him the sufficient leisure and detachment that 
he desired. 

In 1898, he started his quaint periodical 'Aliph' (the 
letter A of Persian) and called his press, "Ananda 
Press" or Bliss Press. And in 1900, in the month of 
July, he left Lahore for the woods of the Himalayas 
for good. 

His friends and admirers gathered in number on 
the platform of the Lahore Railway Station, and as 
Swami Rama stood ready to depart from them they 
sang an Urdu Gazal of adieu composed by him. 

Adieu! My Mathematics, adieu! 
Adieu my Ravi! Adieu! 
Farewell my wife, farewell! 
Farewell my children, farewell! 
Adieu O Friends, O foes, adieu! 
Adieu books and teachings all, adieu! 
Adieu my heart! Adieu my God! 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Lo! God! Adieu! Adieu! Adieu! 

O friends I am lost to my country n. 
And my country is lost to me. 
Thenceforth I live in forests. 
Away from all, in His Love! 

Early in 1901, after the year's sojourn in the hills, 
he turned a monk, and donned the orange robe. 

In August 1901, he took a long trip and visited 
Oangotri, Jamnotri, Kedarnath and Badri Narayan 
living on the pure bosom of the Himalayan snows 
in continuous rapture. 

After visiting Badri Narayan, Swami Rama got 
down to Muttra in 1901, where he presided over 
two sessions of a miniature kind of Parliament of 
Religions organised by Swami Shiv Guna Acharya. 

In 1902, he left for Japan, And after 2 years' 
residence in the United States, he returned to India 
on 8th December, 1904. 

" In Aliph, the thought of his country comes exactly as in this 
poem, hut he thinks of her always 


The Story Of Swami Rama 


THE Parliament of Religions held in 1893, in 
Chicago discovered many eminent men of the 
world, the most famous from the East being Swami 
Vivekananda of Calcutta, Mr. Anagarika 
Dharmapala of Ceylon, Mr. Eanzo Hirai and Mr. 
Zenshiro Noguchi of Japan. Its next sitting was 
eagerly looked forward by the Religious leaders of 
the whole world, though, unfortunately, no other 
session of this Parliament could have been 
arranged on that International basis. 

An announcement was made in India by some of 
the Bengali friends of the late Mr. Okakura of 
Japan to hold the next session of a similar 
International Parliament in Tokyo. Perhaps this 
announcement was made prematurely. Mr. 
Okakura, then, was on a flying visit to India, he 
might have expressed his wish to the late revered 
Sister Nivedita and probably wanted to arrange for 
it on his return. But Mr. Okakura was still in 
Calcutta, when the news reached the Tokyo Press 
which stood against the proposal, and 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

unsupported as it was by the presence of Mr. 
Okakura himself in Japan, the proposal was born 

Swami Rama Tirath in those days, was living in the 
neighbourhood of Tehri Garhwal. His days and 
nights passed in incessant thought. He lived in the 
wild, unrestrained, joys of Vedantic consciousness. 
Most of his poems were composed in those days, 
and the greatest poem was he himself. 

His words were few, but all those that met him 
found with him the fragrance of God. His eyes 
sparkled with the pure luminosity of thought, his 
face glowed with the snowy lustre of a highly 
sublimated emotion. He would touch the grass of 
the ground under his feet with many endearing 
terms. He called the river Ganges, as "my Gangi". 
He had given pet names to his papers, pencils, 
pens and he lived in the society of his own 

Joys came to him in crowds, attracted by his 
tremulous sweetness of soul, and whenever they 
asked him to be alone with them, he would fly like 
a stag from all work, and scale the glaciers, run 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

into the Himalayan caves, and go bathing in the 
rivers, and running on the roads at dark nights, 
facing danger and death as a mere physical 
exercise, for their sake. His joys were celestial 
persons to him. Their company was to him all 
alluring. Many times people found him semi- 
conscious with joy, having laid himself down 
[unnoticed in a neglected cave for days without 
food or drink. 

He would sit on the banks of the Ganges and tears 
of joy would stream out of him, and he loved to 
say the three rivers, two of his eyes and one of the 
eye of Heaven, came and mingled there at Tehri! 

Men might go to him but he would no more go to 
men. The then Maharaja of Tehri was a great 
devotee of his, and he would, by his laughter and 
the sunshine of his poetic poverty, make the 
ceremonious occasion of his meeting with the Raja 
as simple as that of seeing a fine horse. Much of 
his time of about three years in the Himalayas, 
after leaving Lahore, was spent on the naked 
bosom of Nature, and so great was the growth of 
his intimacy with her that when he went to the 
plains, he was thoroughly imbued with that mystic 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

secret in full confidence of which he used to 
declare, that the very elements were his friends, 
and Nature much too willing to run his behests. 
"It is all my body, the rivers are my arteries, the 
mountains my bones. As my hand goes of itself to 
scratch any part of my body, so Nature comes to 
my help to fulfill the needs of my soul. The snow 
storm on the heights of the Himalayas, a sure death 
for others, spreads for me only a soft white velvet 
making stepping on it so easy. It is a sacrilege to 
walk on the rocks with any socks or shoe on. The 
touch of the bare ground inspires omniscience in 
the bare foot, my flesh and the flesh the rocks must 
touch each other fully to know each other fully. 
We talk and understand each other heart to heart 
and our love goes silently all underground from 
breast to breast. Man is God only if he drops his 
dotted T' and washes it in the flowing Ganges. 
Man is God if joy flows from him to Heaven, 
blessed by Heaven in a reflex current back. I am 
Siva. Malabar and the Coromandel are my two 
legs. The deserts of Rajputana my breast, the 
Vindhyachals are my loins, and I spread my arms 
to the West and to the East. The Himalayas are my 
tressed head, and in my curls winds the pure silver 
Ganga. I am India. I am Man, I am bird, beast, I am 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

God." This was his language. In his language there 
was the rain of his tears along with the sunshine of 
his loud laughter, in this fell the snows of calm 
serene contemplation, and in this prevailed the 
sadness of dry autumn leaves falling, falling as the 
winds carried them hither and thither listlessly. 
"They do not see the pain of continuous labour that 
my roots undergo in toiling for the joy of the 
spring burst of my flowers. The world wishes only 
to share my joy, the world knows not my travails," 
said he. 

He had a message to give, he had joys to share 
with the whole world. His passion for Truth was 
throbbing with the infinite restlessness of a 

He was in terrible earnestness as an apostle of 
what he called Vedanta. His Vedanta was, 
however, no more a Vedanta than the prayer of a 
Moslem is, or the devotion of a Bhagavata is, or the 
fervour of a martyr is, or the impulse of a patriot 
hero is, or the poetry of Shelley is, or the 
philosophy of Spinoza or Shams Tabrez, or the 
song of a woman in love, is Vedanta, But what was 
collecting in him till then, was already breaking the 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

thin crust and bursting into songs and essays. His 
autobiography of this period is contained fully in 
the first five issues of his periodical publication 
entitled Aliph - denoting that the first letter of the 
Alphabet was too much for him to learn and he did 
need go no further. 

The Raja of Tehri came to the Swami with the news 
that there was to be a Parliament of Religions, a 
world-meeting to be held in Tokyo, just as they 
had one in 1893, in Chicago. It was in 1902. And 
the Raja said that according to the dates given, the 
Swami could reach Tokyo in time, if he were to 
start immediately and catch the first steamer going 
Eastward. Swami got ready and in about a week's 
time he was on board bound for Japan. 

He was met at various intervening ports by the 
Hindu merchants and he was the guest of Messrs. 
Wassiamall Assomall at Yokohama for a day on his 
arrival in Japan. The following day with a 
companion from the said firm he arrived at Tokyo, 
and entered the house known as the Indo-Japanese 
club of which I was then the Secretary, and lived 
with other Indian students as a resident-member of 
the club. The club has now been reorganised into 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

the Indo-Japanese society with much more weighty 

As the man from Yokohama introduced two 
orange-robed monks into the club, a thrill of joy 
went round and most enchanting was the effect of 
the bird-like warbling of 'OM, OMY by the elder of 
the two Swamis. Swami Rama was accompanied 
by his disciple Swami Narayan. I had gone almost 
mad with enthusiasm though I knew neither of 
them. Their language was all so strange and their 
glow all so spiritual that it commanded silent 

As the younger Swami asked me, "Where is your 
country?" I replied with tears in my eyes in soft, 
loving accent, ''The world is my country". 

And the elder Swami looked up into my eyes and 
said, "To do good is my religion." 

Thus we met each other in two sentences. 

I had to go to lecture to a large audience in the 
Buddhist University that day, and I invited the 
Swami to go and speak to the people that very day 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

of his arrival. He agreed. We all got into the Tram 
car. And I threw my head back against the shut 
glass window and recited, forgetting where I was, 
the sweet syllable OM, in a sing-song music of my 
heart. I had made no other preparations for my 
lecture. I went and rose and spoke and thrilled the 
audience. I introduced Swami Rama who spoke 
shedding, as it were, sparks of fire. There were 
Buddhists and Theosophists come from Australia, 
and they all listened to him and with him on the 
same platform spoke Mr. Kanzo Uchimura, the 
Garlyle of Japan. 

It was late in the evening when we came back and 
he said, "I want a person of your type, who 
prepared his splendid speech in absolute rest of his 
mind while whirling through the Tokyo street, in 
the noisiest Ganza street of Tokyo. Yes. This rest is 
the secret of life. This is concentration of mind, this 
is lyrical silence, from where all great ideas come, 
all dreams that have led humanity onward in its 
progress are dreamt here, all flashes of inspiration 
float before the human mind in this region of 
ecstasy. It is natural relaxation of body into 
complete mental rest, this is the Vedantin's Yoga. 
This is a great thing," said he very enthusiastically. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

I heard nothing, for I was agitated with the joy of a 
young woman that falls for the first time in love 
with the man of her dreams. I was much too 
vibratory to have any patience for listening to him. 
I would run to and fro. I would go out of his room 
aimlessly and come back aimlessly. I neither could 
stay with him for long, nor could stay away from 
him by any means at my command. I loved him, I 
liked him, and if I were a girl, I would have given 
anything to win him. But one thing is certain that I 
heard not a syllable of what he said, yet every 
word that fell from him was treasured by my 
mind, and whatever I am producing even now is 

true in its every syllable. 


The next day I brought from an old book shop the 
two bulky volumes of the proceedings and papers 
of the Parliament of Religions of 1893, and I came 
and placed it on his table. 

"Ah! Exactly! Rama wanted just this book. How 
did you get this? Nature with her own hands puts 
everything that is required in his way." 

We bad then a long talk on the Parliament of 
Religions to be held in Tokyo. When the Swami 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

found that there was no such meeting, be laughed 
heartily and said, "With what a beautiful trick 
Nature has led Rama out into the world from his 
lonely Himalayan resort. How a false piece of news 
becomes so fertile! Rama in himself is a whole 
Parliament of Religions. If Tokyo is not having one, 
let it not; Rama will hold one." 

The very next day of his arrival. Professor Chhatre 
of Poona was giving the first performance of his 
circus in Tokyo and all the Indian students and 
Swami Rama went together to see it. It was here 
that Professor Takakutsu, the great Orientalist and 
the Sanskrit professor of Tokyo Imperial 
University met Rama, and while going home 
remarked to me, ''I have met many Pandits and 
Philosophers at the house of Professor Max MuUer 
in England and other places, but I have never seen 
a personality like Swami Rama, who is so living 
and so significant an illustration of his whole 
philosophy. But in him Vedanta and Buddhism 
meet. He is true religion. He is a true poet and 

Mr. K. Hirai also saw him there and admired his 
transcendentalism which, he remarked, had made 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

his very flesh transcendental. 

While I sat by him seeing the performance in the 
second row, before us, there was a whole row of 
Japanese ladies of aristocracy, in their picturesque 
Kimonos and their gorgeous obis, in their superb 
head-dressing, and a whole row of their snowy 
necks.! I stole a glance at this picture of living 
beauty, and I half thought in my mind what the 
Swami would say if the thieves of my eyes were 
caught red-handed! 

"Puranji! How this row of necks looks like the 
silver threads of so many Gangas flowing out of 
the black tressy rocks!" he remarked, as if he 
supported the poetic theft of my eyes. 

When we came out, it was very late at night and 
we could get neither a rickshaw nor a tram-car. 
Swami started on foot and we followed. He was a 
great swift walker and hardly could we all keep 
pace with him. 

Every evening, people gathered round him, the 
Indians and the Japanese, and listened with rapt 
attention to what he said; only I sat in wild fervour 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

with my eyes closed and my lips vibrating with 
OM, listening to nothing and listening to all. 

He delivered a great lecture on "The Secret of 
Success" in the Tokyo College of Commerce and its 
wonderful glow attracted great attentioni^. The 
Russian Ambassador, having seen it reported in 
the papers, wrote for an interview but the Swami 
had gone on to San Francisco. 

'T landed in Japan singing Purnamadah, 
Purnamidam and I go singing Purnamadah, 
Pumamidam etc." — a Sanskrit verse meaning "the 
Infinite is that, the Infinite is this and on and on 
unchanged is the Infinite" Thus he made, at that 
particular time, in an affectionate way, a kind 
reference to my name ''I came not for the 
Parliament of Religions, but to guide Puran," He 
said. And I forthwith became a clean shaved monk 
in love of him, and not of anything he taught, for I 
understood then nothing of that and I am not sure I 
understand everything now. 

About two months after his departure to America, 
I was photographed at Tokyo, and many friends 

'^ Tlie lecture is reproduced below 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

remarked that I had, so to say, absorbed his very 
features into mine. And one or two speeches I 
made and were reported in the papers contained 
the same thoughts and even, at many places, the 
very phrases, which were met with in his speeches 
in America. I spoke later on, at many places, in 
India and I sent him typed copies of my speeches, 
and he saw his secret thoughts already forestalled 
by me. 

He told me he had heard in India that the Japanese 
make a walking stick which can be turned into a 
stool and an umbrella. I was surprised, as I had 
never seen this wonder. I took him to the Park 
Kankoba (the Japanese Bazar) and enquired about 
it, and we got there the very thing he wanted. He 
was delighted with it as a child with his toy for 
hours. He would laugh and make it into a stool, 
then into an umbrella, then walk akimbo folding it 
up as a stick. While marketing in the Kankoba, all 
the girls standing on the different stalls came 
streaming after him as he passed from one end to 
the other. Every one of them left their stall and 
followed him. They touched his garment, they 
eagerly gazed at him and they said, ''He is more 
beautiful than ourselves". They told me in 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Japanese which Swami did not understand, "How 
funny! Every one of us wishes to marry this 
beautiful man!" They giggled and cracked jokes 
and played with him. He stood a bit handicapped, 
being ignorant of their language. He asked me 
what they said and I deliberately misinterpreted 
them. I only said: "They desire to hear you speak 
on Vedanta and they wish to come to you to learn 
it and attend your classes," He bowed and said: 
"Tell them they are always welcome, Rama is as 
much theirs as of anyone else". 

He was for about a fortnight in Tokyo and then left 
for America in the ship which Professor Chhatre of 
Poona had chartered to convey his circus. 


Following is the lecture that Swami Rama 
delivered on "The Secret of Success" at Tokyo. 

Does it not appear strange for a stranger from India to 
speak on a subject which is evidently more intelligently 
grasped hy Japan than India? It may he. But I stand here 
before you as a teacher for reasons more than one. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

To carry out skillfully an idea into practice is one thing, 
but to grasp its fundamental meaning is quite another 
thing. Even though a nation may he prospering by 
acting up to certain general principles to-day, there is 
every danger of its downfall if those principles are not 
clearly understood by the national mind and distinctly 
supported by sound theory. A labourer who successfully 
performs a chemical operation is not a chemist because 
his work is not supplemented by theory. A fireman who 
successfully operates a steam engine is not an engineer 
because his labour is simply mechanical. Read about the 
doctor who used to heal wounds by keeping the diseased 
part under linen bandage for a full week 

and touching it daily with a sword. The wounds were 
healed, being kept from exposure by the band~'age. But 
he ascribed the wonderful healing pro-perty to the touch 
of the sword. So thought his patients too. This 

superstitious theory gave birth to failures upon 
failures in many cases that required some other 
treatment than mere BANDAGING. Hence it is 
absolutely necessary that right precept and right 
practice should go hand-in-hand. Secondly, I regard 
Japan as my country and her people as my countrymen. 
I can prove on reasonable grounds that in the beginning, 
your ancestors migrated from India. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Your ancestors are my ancestors. Hence I come to shake 
hands with you as your brother and not as a stranger. I 
have another ground which equally entitles me to this 
privilege. I am a Japanese from my very birth in regard 
to my temper, manners, habits, and sympathies. With 
these forewords, let me come to the subject. 

The secret of success is an open secret. Everybody has 
got something to say on the subject, and perhaps you 
have often heard its general principles enunciated, but 
the vital importance of the subject justifies any amount 
of emphasis driving it home into the minds of people. 


At the outset, let us put this question to Nature around 
us. All the "books in running brooks, and sermons in 
stones" preach with unmistakable accent the gospel of 
continuous, incessant work. Light bestows upon us the 
power of sight. Light gives a mainspring to all beings. 
Let us see what light is thrown on the question by Light 
itself. I will take for illustration the ordinary light — the 
lamp. The underlying secret of a lamp's lustre and 
splendour is that it spares not its wick and oil. The 
wick and oil or the little self is being constantly 
consumed and glory is the natural consequence. There it 
is, the lamp says, spare yourself and you will be 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

immediately extinguished. If you seek ease and comfort 
for your bodies, waste your time in sensual pleasures 
and luxury, there is no hope for you. Inactivity, in other 
words, would bring to you death, and activity and 
activity alone is life. Look at the stagnant pond and the 
running stream. The crystal water of the rustling river 
is ever fresh, clear, drinkable, and attractive. But, on the 
other hand, see how disgusting, odorous, filthy, dirty, 
stinking and stenching is the water of the stagnant 
pond. If you wish to succeed, follow the line of action, 
the constant motion of a river. There is no hope for a 
man who would waste his wick and oil in preserving it 
from consumption. Follow the policy of a river, ever 
progressing, ever assimilating, ever adapting itself to the 
environment and ever performing work. Work, work, 
incessant work, is the first principle of success. ''From 
good to better daily self-surpassed. " 

If you work on this principle, you will see that "zY is 
as easy to be great as to be small.'' 


Everybody loves white objects. Let us examine the cause 
of their being the objects of universal Love. Let us 
account for the success of the white. The black objects 
are everywhere hated, discarded and rejected, and let us 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

take this fact as it is and account for it. Physics tells us 
the reality of the phenomenon of colour. Red is not red, 
green is not green, black is not black, and all is not 
what seems. The red rose gets its lovely colour by 
reflecting or throwing back that colour. The other 
colours in the Sun's rays were entirely absorbed by the 
rose and nobody attributes those colours to the rose. 
The green leaf absorbs all other colours in light and 
appears fresh and green by the very colour which it 
denies to itself and throws back. Black objects have the 
property of absorbing all and reflecting no light. They 
have no spirit of sacrifice in them and no charity. They 
do not renounce even a single ray. They do not throw 
back even an iota of what they receive. Nature tells you 
that black, black like coat, shall he appear who refuses 
to give unto his neighbours what he receives. The way 
to receive is to give. The secret of appearing white is 
total renunciation — to throw back instantaneously on 
your neighbours all that you receive. Acquire this 
virtue of white objects and you must be successful. What 
do I mean by white? European? Not Europeans alone, 
the white mirror, the white pearl, the white dove, the 
white snow, all the emblems of purity and 
righteousness stand as your great teachers. Imbibe, 
therefore, the spirit of sacrifice and reflect unto others all 
that you receive. Have no recourse to selfish 

absorption and you must be white. A seed in order that 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

it may hud forth into a tree must perish itself. Fruition 
is thus the final result of complete self-sacrifice. All 
teachers will hear me out in the statement that the more 
we impart the light of knowledge, the more we receive. 


Students know that when they are speaking in their 
literary societies, the moment the idea "I lecture^' comes 
into prominence within their mind, the speech is 
marred. Forget your little self in work and entirely 
throw yourself into it; you will succeed. If you are 
thinking, hecome thought itself, you shall succeed. If you 
are working, hecome work itself, and .thus you shall 

When shall I he free? 
When T shall cease to he 

Here is a story of two Indian Rajputs who went to 
Akhar, the great Mogal emperor of India, and sought 
employment. Akhar inquired ahout their qualifications. 
They said they were heroes. Akhar asked them to prove 
their statement. Both drew out their daggers from the 
scahhards. There the two lightning flashes shone in 
Akhar's court. The flash of the dagger was symholic of 
their inner heroism. Immediately the two lightning 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

flashes joined the two bodies. Each kept the point of his 
dagger on the other's breast, and both gave proofs of 
their heroism by running through the daggers with stoic 
calmness. The bodies fell, spirits met and they were 
proved heroes. I do not point, to the story which is 
shocking in this advanced age, but to the moral it 
teaches. The moral is, sacrifice your little self, forget it in 
the performance of your work, and success must be 
yours. It cannot be otherwise. Cannot I say, the desire 
for success must die in your work before achieving 


Love is mother principle of success. Love and be loved, 
that is the goal. The hand in order to live must love all 
the members of the body. If it isolates itself and thinks 
'why should the whole body profit by my earnings,' 
there is no help for the hand, it must die. For in order to 
be consistent in its selfishness, the hand should not put 
into the mouth the meat and drink that were secured by 
dint of the hand's labour alone whether at the pen or at 
the sword, &c, and should rather inject into its own 
skin all sorts of nourishing food, thus excluding the 
other organs from sharing the fruits of its labour. True, 
this injection or sting of a wasp or bee may make the 
hand fat, but all that fatness does more harm than 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

good. Swelling is not improving and the sore hand is 
sure to die hy its selfishness. The hand can flourish 
only when it realises in practice the identity of its self 
with the Self of all other organs of the body and does not 
alienate its own good from the good of the whole. Co- 
operation is nothing hut superficial manifestation of 
Lave. You hear so much about the utility of co- 
operation, hut I need hardly enlarge upon it. Let that 
co-operation proceed from your innate love. Be love 
and you are successful. A merchant, who does not look 
upon his customers interests as his own, cannot 
succeed. In order to prosper he must love his 
customers. He is to observe them with his whole 


Another factor that plays an important part is 
Cheerfulness. You, my brothers, are cheerful by nature. 
I rejoice to see the smiles on your blooming faces. You 
are the smiling flowers. You are the laughing buds of 
humanity. You are the personification of cheerfulness. 
So what I wish to point to you is to keep up this feature 
of your life till the end of time. Now let us see how it can 
be preserved. 

Be not anxious as to the reward of your labours, mind 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

not the future, have no scruples, think not of success and 
failure Work for work's sake. Work is its own reward- 
Without dejection at the past and without anxiety as to 
the future — work, work, work in the living present. This 
spirit will keep you cheerful under all circumstances. To 
a living seed must he attracted by an inviolable law of 
affi-'nity all that it requires of the air, water, earth, etc., 
to fructify. So does Nature promise every kind of help to 
a cheerful active worker. " The way to more Light is the 
faithful use of what we have.'' If on a dark night you are 
to travel a distance of twenty miles and the light in your 
hand shows only up to ten feet, think not of the whole 
way being unilluminated. You will not find a spot in the 
dark. So a real, earnest worker by a necessary Law 
encounters no obscure ground in his course. Why then 
damp our cheerful spirits by uneasiness about the event? 
Falling suddenly into a lake, persons who do not know 
how to swim, can save themselves by simply preserving 
their equanimity. The specific gravity of man being less 
than that of water, he will keep floating on the surface. 
But ordinary human beings lose their balance of mind 
and by their very struggle to float get drowned. So, often 
times the very unrest for the future success causes 

Let us see the nature of thought which clings to the 
future and runs after success. It is like this. A man goes 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

to catch his own shadow. Let him run till the end of 
time, never, never will he he able to catch it. But let him 
turn his hack upon the shadow and face the sun, then lol 
The same shadow begins to run after him. The moment 
you turn your hack upon success, the moment you cease 
to think of the consequences, the moment you 
concentrate your energy in your present duty, the same 
instant success is with you, nay dogging you. Hence 
follow not success, make not success your goal, then and 
then only success will seek you. In a court of justice the 
magistrate need not invite the parties, the lawyers, and 
the orderlies, etc., to make his court, hut let the 
magistrate sit on his throne of justice in himself and the 
whole panorama of itself opens hefore him. So it is, dear 
friends! Work at your own duty in profound 
cheerfulness and all that you require for success will lay 
itself at your feet. 


The next point that I will urge upon your attention and 
will exhort you to verify hy your own experience is 
Fearlessness. Lions may he tamed hy a single glance, 
enemies may he pacified hy a single look, victory may he 
won hy a single dash of fearlessness. I have roamed in 
the dense valleys of the Himalayas. I have met tigers, 
hears, wolves, and venomous animals. No harm was 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

done to me. 

The wild beasts were looked straight in the face, glances 
met, the fierce animals were out-scared and the so-called 
terrible creatures sulked away. Thus it is, be fearless 
and none can harm you. 

Perhaps you have seen how a pigeon in the sight of a cat 
shuts his eyes perhaps thinking that the cat does not see 
him, because he does not see the cat. What happens? The 
cat pounces upon the pigeon and the pigeon is devoured 
up. Even a tiger is tamed by Fearlessness, and even a cat 
eats up him who fears. 

You might have seen how a trembling hand can never 
successfully pour a liquid from one vessel into another. 
It is sure to be spilt. But how easily the steady, fearless 
hand can handle the dear liquid without spilling a drop. 
There is Nature once again teaching you in 

unsurpassed eloquence. 

Once a Punjabee sepoy was down with some fell disease 
on board ship, and the doctor passed his capital sentence 
of throwing him overboard. Doctors! These doctors 
sometimes pass capital sentences. The sepoy came to 
know of it. There are flashes of fearlessness even in 
ordinary beings when brought to bay. He sprang up 
with unbounded energy and became fearless. He went 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

strnight to the doctor and pointing his pistol towards 
him said : ''Am I ill ? Do you say so? I will shoot you/' 
The doctor immediately gave him a certificate of health. 
Despair is weakness, avoid it. The whole strength comes 
from Fearlessness. Mark my words, Fearlessness. Be 


Last but not least, nay, the vital principle or the very 
key-note of success is self-reliance, self- dependence. If 
anybody asks me to give my philosophy in one word, I 
would say "self-reliance", the knowledge of self. Hear, O 
man! Know thyself. True, literally true it is when you 
help yourself, God must help you. Heaven is bound to 
help you It can be proved, it can be realised that your 
very Self is Grod-the Infinite, the Omnipotent. Here is 
a reality, a truth, waiting to be verified by experiment. 
Verily, verily, depend upon yourself and you can 
achieve anything. Nothing is impossible before you. 

The lion is the king of the forest. He depends upon his 
own self. He is bold, strong, and the conqueror of all 
difficulties, because he is in himself. Elephants which 
when first seen in India were aptly called by the Greeks 
"moving mountains" are always afraid of their enemies. 
They always live in groups and employ sentinels to keep 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

watch over them when they sleep, and none of them 
relies on himself or his own capabilities. They regard 
themselves to he weak and the law is that they must he 
weak. The one during dash of the lion intimidates them 
and the whole group of elephants is hewildered — 
whereas a single elephant, the moving mountain, may 
trample scores of lions to death under his feet. 

A highly instructive story is told of two hrothers who 
equally shared their inherited property hut after some 
years one was reduced to indigence and the other 
multiplied his fortune hy tens. 

The answer to the question ''why and how'' put to the 
one who hecame a millionaire was that his hrother 
always said, " Go, Go, " while he himself always said, 
"Come, Come". The meaning is that one used to order 
his servants, "Go, go, and do this" while he himself was 
always lying on his feather-stuffed cushions; and the 
other was always up on his feet and at his work, and 
called his servants for help, " Come, Come, and do this. " 
One depended upon his own power and riches 
multiplied; the other ordered his servants, "Go, go." 
They went away, hut fortune also oheyed his command, 
"Go, go," and thus he was left alone. Rama says, 
"Come, hrothers, come, and share Rama's success and 
happiness. " 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

So it is, brothers, friends and countrymen! Man is the 
master of his own destiny. If the people of Japan give 
Rama more opportunities to convey his thoughts to 
them, it can be shown that there is no rational ground 
whatsoever for putting faith in myths and fables and 
placing our centre outside ourselves. Even a slave is a 
slave because he is free. Out of freedom we are 
prosperous, out of our own freedom we are suffering, out 
of our own freedom we are enslaved. Then why should 
we grumble and croak, and why not make use of our real 
freedom to free ourselves physically and socially? 

The religion that Rama brings to Japan is virtually the 
same as was brought centuries ago by Buddha's 
followers, but the same religion requires to be dealt with 
from an entirely different standpoint to suit it to the 
needs of the present age. It requires to be blazoned forth 
in the light of Western Science and Philosophy. The 
essential and fundamental doctrines of Rama's religion 
may be put in the words of Goethe — 

I tell you what's man's supreme vocation. 
Before Me was no world, 'tis My creation. 
'T was I who raised the Sun from out the sea. 
The Moon began her changeful course with Me. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Realize that once and you are free this moment. Realize 
that once, and you are ever successful. Realize that once, 
and the very dingy dungeons are converted on the spot 
into blessed Elysium. 

Om! OmU Omlll 


The Story Of Swami Rama 


In this part of the country there are many persons 
who lovingly cherish the memory of Swami Rama 
Tirath, and tell how he lived like a true ascetic and 
won the hearts of the rude villagers in the 
mountain valleys of California, how he used to 
throw into the sea the laudatory comments on his 
lectures that appeared in the local press, how he 
insisted on charging no admission fees for his 
lectures and said to a well-to-do friend who 
complained that the expenses of holding the 
meetings could not be met on that plan. Surely you 
can pay the expenses of holding the meetings. He 
was the greatest Hindu who ever came to America, 
a real Saint and sage, whose life mirrored the 
highest principles of Hindu spirituality as his soul 
reflected the love of the Universal spirit whom he 
tried to realize. 

[Lala Hardayal, M.A., writing from America in 'The 
Modern Review', July, 1911] 

WHEN Swami Rama was staying at the Shasta 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Springs he used to work as a common labourer, 
cutting wood from the mountains and adding it to 
the home suppHes of his host Dr. Hiller. He told 
me, "Rama had to work hard in Shasta, for he did 
not like to live in country like America without his 
share of physical labour. Rama loved his solitude. 
And Rama was the first to climb the peak of the 
Shasta Mountain starting with many American 
competitors, though he declined to accept the first 
prize that was offered him. The copies of the 
magazine that gave the account of his ascent were 
sold so rapidly that it was considered a 
phenomenal sale. Rama ran a Marathon race, ran 
out of the mere love of running, it was a race of 30 
miles and Rama came first." And it may be noted 
here that there was a time when he was in Lahore, 
as a student and a Professor, when fears of 
complete breakdown of his health were 
entertained. He was an extremely weak youth, 
almost a physical wreck, and he had built up his 

health by sheer force of his will. 


Rama had a hammock put up for himself across 
the rapids of the Shasta river, and there he sat 
cooing in tune with "his birdies" — as he said 
"feeling happier than the President of all the 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

United States". Now and then he came out of his 
mountain soHtudes to deHver lectures on Vedanta. 
He also spoke for India. He made an appeal to 
Americans on behalf of India, which at the time 
attracted great attention. 

"Dr. Hiiler and his wife," he told me, "were very 
kind hosts, but being an old couple they had to be 
humoured by Rama. They liked Rama and wished 
him to stay with them forever." 

He told me: "There once came a very rich lady 
whom Rama named as Ganga. She offered her 
everything to Rama — her wealth, land, home, and 
offered herself for taking up the robe of Sanyas. 
But Rama needed nothing. She had a very large 
heart. God bless her. A great woman" 

"But do you think Swamiji, America is more after 
what you call Vedanta than India?" asked I. And 
the Swami replied: "No! America lives my Vedanta 
on the physical plane, Rama wants all nations to 
take the same Truth on the mental and spiritual 
planes also. America and the whole West thus live 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

cramped up in spite of all expansions, while India 
having cramped herself for centuries only on the 
mental plane has grown a worse sick man than any 
Western country. India has shut herself from the 
spiritual, and has only left half a plank of her door 
open for the physical life and her ruin has been 
complete on the mental plane also. Vedanta is the 
whole Truth, it kills if the whole of it is not lived. 
Either the whole of Truth, or death, there is no 
golden mean to be struck in living Truth. Rama 
does not say India has not the hunger for Truth, 
but it is the false appetite of a man suffering from 
chronic indigestion, and in India, as Rama told 
you, it is more or less philosophy indigestion. All 
the traditions, conventions, customs, castes, 
superstitions, and religious make-beliefs of India 
have become only dead symptoms of spiritual 
ailments due to the cramping of self into one set 
way of living on the mental plane, which, however 
beautiful to start with, has already degenerated 
into a system of fraudulent ignorance and 
hypocritical assertions." 

"Countries per se cannot be divided into good or 
bad, spiritually or mentally"; he continued, "there 
are some men and women in the country whose 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

lives alone count; the others do not. It is a matter 
mostly of chance whether it is more of the former 
class or of the latter that you yourself come in 
personal contact with in each country. An estimate 
based on such acquaintance must forever remain 
personal. Hell and Heaven live under the same 
roof, nay under the same skin, and so it is 
everywhere in all countries, in all climes, in all 
persons, and it is the particular manifestation of 
either seen by you that determines your own 
attitude to that country. So if you choose to come 
in personal contact with the most noble and the 
most beautiful portion of a country and its men 
and women, all countries are equally spiritual, 
equally noble, equally beautiful, equally divine". 

No! What about your preachings of the Hindu 
philosophy, I mean?" added I. 

''Ah! For that you need a colossal self-preparation 
to talk to America. It is not an amateur's business; 
It is, the cultured elite, the University men of 
America that must come to your side, and to 
produce any permanent effect on that country is 
not easy. The groups of fair rich women having 
nothing to do at home might come round you to 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

listen to your strange words and to look at your 
strange face; But that is curiosity; Of the many 
hundred women Rama met, only two were serious, 
and especially one of them Ganga^^ was divine; 
Rama met no such other woman in India or in 

One day a great actress of America asked for a 
private interview which Rama freely gave her. She 
was loaded with pearls and jewels, and so heavily 
perfumed was she, that it seemed, as if she was 
made of fragrance. There was a smile rippling on 
her lips which was so new in its every new eddy, - 
But as she came, she fell on the floor weeping: 
'Swami, I am miserable! Make me happy. Look not 
to my pearls, nor to my smiles - they are my 
outward habits of which, I, my me, my I, is sick. 
Rama comforted her. Her confession appeared to 
Rama to be the confession of Western civilization 
itself. . . 

Another lady came, she was much distressed. She 
had lost her child and wished Rama to make her 
happy. Rama replied, 'Rama sells happiness and 
you must pay the price'. 'Anything Swami! Any 

'^ Ganga was the name Swami Rama gave to that lady. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

thing, any price'. 'In the kingdom of happiness the 
coin is different', said Rama, 'and you must pay the 
coin of Rama's country'. 'Yes Swami, anything!' 

'Alright, take that Httle Negro boy and love him as 
your own child,' said Rama, and this is the price 
you must pay'. 

'Ah! It is so difficult'. 

'Then it is also very difficult to be happy', said 

But she did get her happiness and she felt ever so 
much better." 

His work in America took a favourable turn and it 
seems from the accounts received after his death 
that he also took up the cause of the Indian 
students and organised societies in their aid. He 
condemned the caste system of India. The press- 
cuttings given below, as received from an 
American lady after his death, clearly show how 
much enthusiasm for the Indian cause he 
succeeded in creating by his wholly unselfish 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Rama paid a visit to an American University and 
gave an address on The World's Debt to India. The 
President of the University called it a new 
contribution to the missing chapter of the history 
of the introduction of Vedanta thought in Western 
culture. A few books were brought by the clerk of 
the University to be presented to Rama. One of the 
bindings was a bit soiled, and the President turned 
to the clerk and said, 'Have you not heard the 
Swami just now? Don't you know to whom these 
books are to be presented? They are to be the 
offerings of the University to Rama the Divine. 
Please bring another'. 

Swami Rama visited other Universities also, not as 
a mathematician of repute to deliver scientific 
discourses, but as the Philosopher from the East 
holding the torch of Vedanta. For much as he loved 
his mathematics, he loved Vedanta more, and 
wherever he went he drew the spontaneous love, 
regard and reverence of all whom he came in 
contact with. 

The lectures and the inspired talks that he gave 
during his itineraries helped the Vedanta 
movement to no small extent. The work that he did 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

was however no part of any organised missionary 
activity, nor did he ever care to seek pecuniary 
support for the cause of Vedanta. The value of his 
appeal lay not in any resulting funds but in his 
own radiant magnetic personality which left its 
indelible impress upon one and all. 

The lectures that he delivered and the talks that he 
gave in America during this period have been 
collected and published under the title "In Woods 
of God-Realisation". They were taken down just as 
he talked by a lady steno-typist, Mrs. P. Whitman, 
a great admiring disciple of the Swami, and on 
account of his sudden death, they were published 
just as they were taken down without being 
revised. They fill three large royal octavo size 
volumes of about 500 pages each. 

The following letter, sent to me after his death, by 
Mrs. Wellman of Los Angeles, California faithfully 
records how highly infectious were not only the 
joy, but the ideas of Swami Rama. I met this 
devoted lady, Mrs. Wellman, at Dehra Dun, India, 
when she was on a visit to this country and we 
together made a pilgrimage to the Tehri hills and 
toured the Punjab plains. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Says Mrs. Wellman in her letter: 

....It was just the beginning of the year 1908 when I 
first met this great soul. He was lecturing in San 
Francisco. I went to hear him reluctantly. But with 
his chant of OM, my mind was lifted, my very being 
vibrated with a joy I never felt before. A heavenly, 
blissful peace illumined me. 

And I never missed another opportunity to feed upon 
the bread of life he so freely gave. He also made an appeal 
to Americans to help his people by going to India and 
living as one of them in their very families. Quite a 
number said they would go. But not one of them went. 
One day I said to him, " Swami Rama, for what you have 
done for me, what can I do for your people in 
exchange? ^^ He said, ''You can do a great deal, if you 
will but go to India.'' "I will go," I replied. But friends 
dissuaded and even derided me. Some said I was crazy to 
think of going, especially as I had not sufficient money 
to return. But Rama said, "If you really know Vedanta, 
you would not fear, for you will find God in India the 
same as in America. " So did God the Divine Intelligent 
Principle of life prove His all-sustaining power, through 
the tender, loving care of my beloved Hindu brothers 
and sisters, yea, my children. Yet five months elapsed 
before I fulfilled my promise to our Blessed Rama and 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

set sail for his native country-alone, not knowing a 
person in that far-off country yet with Faith, ^^ leaning 
on the sustaining arm of the Infinite^' as taught hy 
Rama . . . 

Mrs. Pauline Whitmani^, the Swami's disciple, who 
has been mentioned above, wrote to me a long 
letter on his death, which runs thus: 

Words fail me when I attempt to express what is so 
difficult to make apparent in the cold narrow words of 
language. Rama's language was that of the Sweet 
innocent child, the birds, the flowers, the flowing 
stream, the waving tree branches, that of the sun, the 
moon and stars. His was the language running under 
the outer stows of the world and of people. 

Under the oceans, continents, under the fields and the 
roots of the grasses and the trees, his life passed deep 
into nature, he was the very life of nature. His language 
penetrated far under the little thoughts and dreams of 
men. How few are the ears which hear that wondrous 
melody. He heard it, lived it, breathed it, taught it, and 
his whole soul was imbued with it. He was the 

'" Kamalananda was the name that Swami Rama gave to Mrs. 
Pauline Whitman. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

messenger full of joy. 

O Free soul! Soul that has completed its relation to the 
body! O soaring, happy beyond words, into other worlds 
passing, salutations to you, freed, redeemed soul! 

He was so gentle, unaffected, childlike, pure and noble, 
sincere earnest and unassuming that all who came in 
contact with him with a heart yearning for the Truth, 
could not but receive inestimable benefit. After each 
lecture or class-lesson, questions were put which were 
always answered so clearly and concisely, sweetly and 
lovingly. He was ever filled with bliss and peace and 
was constantly humming OM when not employed in 
talking, writing, or reading. He saw Divinity in each 
and all and everyone was addressed by him as '^ Blessed 
Divinity '\ 

Rama was a continual bubbling spring of happiness. In 
God he lived, moved and had his body-being, nay he was 
the very self of God. He once wrote to me, "Those who 
have a mind to enjoy can enjoy, the diamonds shining in 
the brilliant starlit skies, can derive abundance of 
pleasure from the smiling forests and dancing rivers, 
can reap inexhaustible Joy from the cool breeze, the 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

warm sunshine and the balmy moonlight, freely placed 
at the service of each and all by nature. Those who 
believe that their happiness depends upon particular 
conditions will find the day of enjoyment ever recede 
from them and run away constantly like the will-o'-the- 
wisp. The so called wealth of the world instead of being a 
source of happiness only serves as an artificial screen to 
shut out the glory of the panorama of all nature, and of 
the heavens". 

Rama lived in a tent on the hillside and took his meals at 
the Ranch house. It was a beautiful place rugged with 
scenery, high mountains on either side draped with 
evergreen trees and thick tangled under-bush. The 
Sacramento River flowed turbulently down this valley 
and here it was that Rama read many, many books, 
wrote his sublime poetry and meditated hours at a time. 
He sat on a large boulder in the river where the current 
was very strong day after day and week after week, only 
coming to the house at meal times when he always gave 
us beautiful talks. Numerous visitors from Shasta 
Springs would come to see him and they were always 
welcomed gladly. His sublime thoughts left a deep and 
lasting impression on all. Those who came out of 
curiosity went away with their curiosity satisfied, and 
the seed of truth planted forever in their hearts, may be 
for the time being unconsciously to them, but to sprout 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

and develop into strong and sturdy trees whose branches 
will twine together from all parts of the earth in a bond 
of brotherhood and love divine. Seeds of truth always 

He took long walks. Thus he lived there in Shasta 
Springs a busy, simple, free, and joyous life. He was so 
happy. His laughter came spontaneously and could be 
heard plainly at the house when he was at the river side. 
Free, free was he like a child and a saint. He would 
remain in God-consciousness for days together. His 
unfaltering devotion to India and his desire to raise her 
benighted people was indeed perfect self-abnegation. 

After I left there, I received a letter from him which I 
afterwards learnt was written during a period of severe 
illness. ''The degree of concentration and pure divine 
feeling is wonderfully high now and God-consciousness 
is possessing me with a marvelous sweep. As the body is 
subject to fickle whims and constant change, I will 
never, never identify myself with these naughty will-o'- 
the-wisps. In sickness, concentration and inner peace is 
supremely intense. He or she must be a poor stingy 
miser whose close-fistedness grudges to accord due 
hospitality to the passing guests - bodily ailment and 
the like". 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

He would always tell us to ''feel, feel all the time that the 
power supreme that manifests itself in the sun and the 
stars is the same, the same. I am the same, the same is 
yourself. Take up this real self, this glory of thine, 
contemplate this life eternal* meditate on this your real 
beauty and forget clean all thoughts of the little bodily 
ties as if you never had anything to do with these false, 
seeming realities (nay shadows). ''No death, no sickness, 
no sorrows. Be perfectly happy, thoroughly blissful, 
saturated with peace. Keep yourself thoroughly collected 
above the body or the little self . This he taught each and 

To think that it has been my privilege to have met and 
conversed with and aided such a holy man as Rama is 
wonderful. He was a child of Aurora and emitted his 
music from sunrise till evening. It matters not to him 
what the clocks said or the attitudes or labours of men 
were. His elastic and vigorous thoughts kept pace with 
the sun so that the day was a perpetual morning. " The 
millions are awake enough for physical labour, but only 
one in a hundred millions for a poetic and divine life" So 
says Thoreau. Rama was one of such rare souls who but 
occasionally visit this earth. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

They say the sun is but His photo, 
They say that Man is in His image. 
They say he twinkles in the stars, 
They say he smiles in fragrant flowers. 
They say he sings in nightingales. 
They say he breathes in cosmic air. 
They say he weeps in winter nights. 
They say he runs in prattling streams. 
They say he sings in rainbow arches. 
In floods of light, they, &ay, he marches. 

So Rama said and it is so. 

The letters and the newspaper cuttings which are 
reproduced below show how strenuously Swami 
Rama worked for the sake of educating Indian 
youths in America and organising a regular 
campaign to eradicate the injustice and inhumanity 
of the caste system in India. It seems he took up the 
work in the spirit of an American, as in India, he 
worked as an Indian monk. He did not lay so much 
emphasis on eradication of caste in India before 
going to America or even after his return. 

In America, he interpreted the married life and the 
home in terms of Vedanta, while in India, he again 
thought that it is the Monkism which is mostly 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

needed for her. 

Swami Rama was at home when he talked of God 
and ecstasy of love, but other subjects he simply 
touched upon as occasioned by the environments. 

One of his pet themes was how a man of ecstasy 
who has no personal aims and wishes and desires, 
becomes, at times, the vehicle of other; people's 
prayers and fulfils them as a medium without 
those desires coming to stick to him in any sense. 
He himself as contrasted in his American and 
Indian surroundings is an apt illustration of this 
piece of transcendental philosophy. 

The following letters were addressed to Mrs. P. 
Whitman, on the death of Swami Rama. 

814, Fidelity Bldg., Buffalo, NX 
January 18th, 1907 

The Rama Society, to which your letter of December 
24th was addressed, no longer exists, hut the letter came 
to me as the ex-secretary of the Society. The news of the 
Swami's passing away was, of course, a very great 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

surprise to me, but I can hardly feel that it was a 
misfortune for him. His short life on earth had yielded 
him a rich harvest of experience, and perhaps its purpose 
was fully accomplished. Peace he to him! 

The Swami spent two or three weeks in Buffalo in the 
spring and early summer of 1904. He gave numerous 
lectures on both the dark and bright sides of life in India 
and upon the Vedanta Philosophy, laying particular 
stress, in the Indian lectures, upon the evils of the caste 
system and the desirability of destroying it. He made 
strong appeals on behalf of India, and succeeded in 
forming here one of the societies which, as you doubtless 
know, it was his aim to establish in cities throughout the 
country (for the importation of Hindu boys to be 
educated in this country). He proved an ardent and 
eloquent pleader for this cause, and aroused much 
enthusiasm among those who heard him. Buffalo, 
however, is rather a conservative town in some ways, 
and those who organised the Rama Society being mostly 
busy people of only moderate means, they soon found 
that the responsibility and work involved in upbuilding 
and maintaining such an organisation were beyond 
their powers. Therefore what money had been collected 
was forwarded to the Society in Portland, Oregon, 
which seemed to be very active and promising, and the 
Buffalo Society, not long after the SwamVs departure, 


The Story Of Swami Rama 


As you probably know, the Swami lectured in a large 
number of places throughout the United States. I do not 
know all the places he visited before reaching Buffalo, 
but from here he went to Lilydale (a very prominent 
spiritualistic centre in this state), Chicago, Boston, 
Greenacre, Maine (where representatives of many forms 
of faith lecture every summer). New York City, and we 
finally heard from him way down in Florida where he 
had gone to recover from the fatigue of his work and 

The Swami greatly attracted people over here, not only 
by his learning arid spiritual wisdom, but also by his 
cleverness, his sweet and gracious manners and (not 
least in this country) by his simple democratic ways 
and, amiable adaptability to the conditions about him, 
despite the fact that he came from a land of rigid caste- 
tradition and was himself a high-caste Brahmin. He 
would meditate along by the hour, in true oriental 
fashion, or willingly converse on philosophy, or joke and 
laugh with visitors, or join in a game of ball, as occasion 

He was keenly observant of the spirit and institutions of 
America, as also of its failings, and he realised that India 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

had much to learn from ''The Young Giant of the West'' 
while at the same time America might well listen 
humbly to much that India can teach it. He seemed 
especially impressed with the freedom of women in this 
country and with the fact that their freedom does not 
demoralise them. He often spoke with pleasure about it. 

I presume you have the addresses of other people with 
whom the Swami stayed in this country, and quite likely 
they can give you more information about his work and 
its results than I can. As you doubtless know. Mr. 
William H. Galvani is (or was) the Secretary of the 
Oregon Society in Portland, Oregon, and if you have 
not already written him, I think he could tell you 
considerate about the Swami' s work. We in Buffalo 
thought that the Swami never fully realised the 
magnitude of the labour and responsibility incumbent 
upon those who undertook to carry on his work in 
America. This would have been very natural in view of 
the great differences between his own race and country 
and ours. 

Denver, Colo., January 25, 1907 



The Story Of Swami Rama 

It was three years ago that I met the most beautiful soul 
I have ever known. His presence brought me nearer to 
God, the fountain head, and his words all were so 
simple, but carried with them the conviction that he 
knew; and he signed himself while with us as "Swami 

But it was not his words, it was not himself, his 
personality but God that we recognised in him that 
brought all who came in contact with him to a fuller 
knowledge and understanding. 

He was from the far East, small of stature and brown, 
but he more than filled the place of the larger man of the 
West. Wherever he passed, flowers sprang up and the 
seed from them is to be scattered broad-cast until the 
whole world is a garden, and the name of the flower is 

He told us of the Christ Lave, the Love of Krishna and 
the Love of God. Told it so that we understood. He 
planted in our hearts the desire to grow to open our 
petals to sunshine and scatter fragrance. To make the 
world better for our having lived in it. 

If storms come to us we must be glad, and the fragrance 
is sweeter after the rain, and if we so live, we have not 
lived in vain. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

"The bubble bursts and becomes the whole ocean" and I 
hear that Swami Ramans body is no more. He is the 
entire Universe. He is in all and if we look for him we 
will find him. He is in the snow-storm, in each tiny 
flake; but they fall so silently that we must look or we 
are unaware of the visit. 

He gave his all; He found still more 
Upon the Oceans restless shore, 
He found it in the Made of grass 
And in the winds that swiftly pass 
Fanning his noble brow. In all 
That lived the answering call 
Goes back to him from His all 

He told us of the power that would make the trees grow, 
the rivers flow; and of the same power that is in us that 
makes our hair grow and our blood flow — of the One 
Power in all life — so that we could see feat our power is 

The sun does not have to tell us it is shining but we feel 
the warm rays, and those who meet us will feel the rays 
of love we send out and will get the fragrance just as we 
are helped by the memory of Swami Rama. 



The Story Of Swami Rama 

Honolulu T.H., 

Your very kind note of the 26th u3timo received. Much 
as I would like to give you a full account of Swami 
Ramans works here, time and circumstances make it 
impossible. Rama remained here during November and 
December, 1903, and during his stay he endeared 
himself to everyone who made his acquaintance. Among 
these were many men and women of high standing in 
his community. It is scarcely necessary to say that we all 
feel deeply over his sudden death, and yet we realise that 
all things are governed in this world of ours by 
inexorable law, and such things as ^^ accidents" exist 
only in mere words for the purpose of designating effects 
the causes of which are hidden from our understanding. 

Our Society is quite in earnest about continuing the 
work inaugurated here by Rama, as you will see from 
the copy of the Resolutions enclosed herewith, I also 
enclose some newspaper cuttings which you can use and 
some extracts from the Society's record — these may 
prove of some interest. During the time Rama was here 
much appeared in the newspapers, but it is so long ago 
that ho single copies can be found, and hence no 
additional clippings are to be had. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Should there be anything further that I could do I beg 
you to let me know. 

With kindest regards and best wishes, 



The Rocky Mountain News, of January 4th, 1904, 
Denver, Colo., wrote as follows: 

At Unity Church yesterday afternoon Swami Rama, the 
Hindu Professor now in Denver, lectured on the 
principles of his Philosophy. Professor Rama's mission 
to America is to enlist aid in his attempt to break down 
the Hindu caste system. He also has an ethical 
philosophy in which he teaches a religion he calls "The 
Common Path" which he expounds to those interested 
wherever he goes. This morning Professor Rama will 
speak in the Ministerial Alliance on the caste system of 
India. Tomorrow afternoon he will begin a series of 
lectures on his religion at Unity Church. The lecture 
will begin at 2 o'clock and the subject will be ''The 
Secret of Success" . Other topics are: "The Realisation of 
God through Love." "What are you." "The History and 
Home of Happiness." "The diagnosis, causes and cure of 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Sin". In his lecture yesterday afternoon Swami Rama 

"The object of this philosophy is to regulate the conduct 
of the present life. It has a plain, practical hearing upon 
the things of today. You may he disappointed, hut there 
is nothing mystical, or occult ahout me, although I come 
from the deepest forests of the Himalayas. To minimise 
the waste of energy, to aholish wear and tear ofhody and 
mind, to secure freedom from all kinds of dissipation, 
due to envy, vanity, distemper and hlues; to cure mental 
dyspepsia, and to remove intellectual pauperism and 
spiritual slavery; to attain the secret of successful work; 
to realise God through Love; to keep in touch with the 
origin of knowledge, how to preserve our equilihrium 
and peace, these are the suhjects I teach. 

My religion is not Hinduism, Mohammadnism, 
Christianity, Catholicism, or Protestantism, hut it is 
antagonistic to none. The overlapping area covered hy 
the light, the sun, the stars, the rivers, gravity, mind 
and hody, this is the field of my religion. Are there any 
Preshyterian lilies? Are there any Methodist 
landscapes? So do I make no distinction of class, colour, 
or creed in greeting as my co-religionists the rays of 
sun, the heams of stars, the leaves of trees, the hlades of 
grass, the grains of sand, the hearts of tigers, elephants, 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

lambs, ants, men, women and children. My religion is 
the religion without a nickname. It is the religion of 
nature. I label none, brand none, possess none, but serve 
all like light and sun. So I call it 'THE COMMON 

The central teaching of the 'Common Path,' I have put 
into verse: 

Dear little violet, with thy dewy eye. 
Look up and tell me truly 
When no one is nigh. 
What thou art? ' 

The violet answered with a gentle sigh: 

If that is to be told when alone. 

Then I must sadly own 

It will never be known 

What am I, 

Tor my brothers and sisters are all around 

In the air and on the ground. 

And they are the same as I" 

A member of a caste, higher than that of the Princes and 
Rajahs of India, Swami Rama has devoted his life to the 
betterment of his race. Small, slight, with dark, eager, 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

bright eyes and olive skin, attired in a black suit wearing 
at all times a brilliant red turban, this is Swami Rama. 
This is the man from India now in Portland. Not a man 
from India. Men from India not infrequently reach this 
port. But seldom if ever has one of such learning, such 
broad human sympathies, such unselfish motives carried 

For more than two weeks Swami Rama has been in 
Portland quietly conducting classes and speaking before 
audiences and congregations of all kinds and 
denominations for the Women's Club, Bishop Scott 
Academy, the Y.M.C.A., the Unitarian Church, the 
Spiritualists, the Christian Union and others. For his 
philosophy is broad enough to embrace all beliefs. It is 
very like a great blanket, large enough to cover every 
human creed and leave room for many more to creep 
beneath its warmth. Swami, therefore, does not stop to 
consider 'Is the doctrine of this Church or organisation 
consistent with any creed?'' No, he cheerfully consents 
to speak wherever asked and when he discovers that this 
leads to a multiplicity of conflicting engagements he 
patiently and with a contrite heart proceeds, with the aid 
of a few practical friends with whom he is blessed, to 
straighten things out and to make up for his blunders by 
speaking morning, afternoon and evening, every day if 
necessary. Whenever and wherever he has addressed an 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

audience or class, he has spoken with purpose and effect 
and has drawn men out of their own littleness. 
Ministers, judges, lawyers, questioners and doubters, 
find his addresses interesting. 

Briefly and broadly speaking Swami Rama stands where 
philosophy and practical science meet. He is an 
accomplished linguist, perfectly at home with modern as 
well as ancient languages. He has studied exhaustively 
the ancient mysteries and religions and is perfectly at 
home with modern history, literature, folklore and the 
philosophies of all countries. He is late Professor of 
Mathematics and Religious Philosophy of the great 
Punjab University, at Lahore. Speak to him of his 
religion and he refers to the Vedantic '^ Philosophy, '^ 
which points to one's inward consciousness for 

His mission in America is two-fold. Primarily it is to 
interest Americans in his own country and countrymen, 
with the object of helping to educate Hindus. It is his 
object to bring them to American colleges where they 
may imbibe not only learning, but Americas push, and 
independence and the spirit of American freedom, that 
they in turn may return to their own land and teach 
their own people. In this way it is his tope that the 
terrible caste system existing there may be broken up. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

His second object is to spread his philosophy, his 
glorious gospel of man's oneness with the eternal. 

He hopes among other things, to persuade the colleges of 
Oregon and other States of the Union to offer free 
scholarships to Hindu students. 

In San Francisco where he spent two months he 
succeeded in interesting some very influential people in 
his cause which resulted in providing for one student. 
After leaving Portland he will visit the larger cities 
where he hopes to interest a still greater number of 

The Portland Journal wrote as follows: 

Swami Rama, high priest of India, has been lecturing 
and teaching in Portland for the past ten days, and has 
interested many people in his plan for accomplishing 
effectual missionary work in India with the expenditure 
of very much less money than is at present being spent 
by missionaries in that country. 

This plan for making more efficacious the missionary 
work in India, Rama will lay before the people in a 
lecture on ''The Condition of India,'' which he will 
deliver at the Marquan Theatre on Sunday afternoon 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

December 20th, at 3 o'clock. The lecture will be free, but 
reserved seats for same may be secured at the Marquan 
Box Office any time after 10 o'clock on Saturday 

Rama does not ask money for himself personally but a 
collection will be taken up after the lecture, to give all 
present an opportunity to contribute to the fund which 
he is raising to defray the expenses of the missionary 
work he is inaugurating. This money will not go to 
India, but will be all spent in America, as it is Rama's 
plan to bring young Hindu students, post graduates of 
Indian Universities over to America, on the condition 
that after finishing their education here they will devote 
their time and energy in working social-reform 
revolution in their native land. " 

Dr. Starr Jordan of Standford University, President B. 
L Wheller of California University, and Judge Marrow, 
of the United States Court of Appeals, of California, are 
the custodians of the fund to which the contributions are 

A San Francisco paper, speaking of a course of 
lectures delivered by Swami Ram in San Francisco, 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

The old order of things is to be reversed. Out of the 
jungles of Upper India has come a man of astonishing 
wisdom, a prophet, philosopher, scientist and priest, who 
proposes to play the r61e of the missionary in the United 
States, and preach a new doctrine of unselfishness and 
spiritual power to the idolatrous worshippers of the 
mighty dollar. He is a Brahmin of the Brahmins, a 
Goswami of the highest caste, and he is known among 
his brethren as Swami Rama. 

This remarkable sage of the Himalayas is a slender 
intellectual young man with the ascetic mould of a 
priest and the light complexion of a high caste Brahmin. 
His forehead is broad and high, his head splendidly 
developed, his nose thin and delicate as a woman V 
while his chin reveals great firmness of will, without 
stubbornness. A wide, kindly, almost tender mouth 
parts freely over dazzlingly white, perfect white teeth in 
a smile that seems to light up all surrounding space, and 
wins the instantaneous confidence and good will of all 
who come within the circle of its radiance. 

''How do I live?" he said yesterday. ''This is simple. I do 
not try. I believe. I attune my soul to the harmony of 
love for all men. That makes all men love me, and where 
love is, there is no want, no suffering. This state of mind 
and faith bring influences to me that supply me needs 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

without asking. If I am hungry there is always someone 
to feed me. I am forbidden to receive money or to ask for 
anything. Yet I have everything, and more the most, for 
I live largely in a world that few can attain. " 

The Oregonian contained the following: 

Swami Tirath Ram, the eloquent and learned priest from 
India, who will lecture at the Marquan Theatre on 
Sunday afternoon next, on ''The Present Condition of 
India, " mostly declines to say much concerning himself, 
his attainments, and his position in his country. 

Rama never tires of speaking of his caste-ridden and 
down-trodden countrymen, nor of methods of helping 
them more effectually than the missionary methods at 
present practiced by Europe and America do, noble, 
generous and sincere though these are; but he is slow to 
understand our interest in personality, our desire to 
know who he is, and all about him. And for this reason 
this information for the most part, must be obtained 
from the friends he has won since his sojourn in 
Portland by his earnestness, simplicity and sincerity. 

Learned in many languages, scientist and philosopher of 
renown in his own land, Rama was for a term of years 
Professor of Natural Philosophy at Punjab University in 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

India. This work he gave up, also high caste, and devoted 
several years to independent research in the line of 
religious and philosophical study, and stands second to 
no one in a knowledge and understanding of the 
Vedantic scriptures. In December, 1901, he acted as the 
President of a Parliament of Religions held at Muttra, 
India. As to the manner in which he discharged this 
high honour. The Free Thinker a paper published at 
Lahore, India, had the following to say: 

" Of Swami Rama Tirath, M.A., who was the life and 
soul of the last convention, the write f s vocabulary is too 
poor to enable him to speak in appropriate terms. As the 
moderation-chief he had ample time at the close of each 
sitting to sum up the day's proceedings and give 
expression to his own thoughts; and when he spoke he 
was always at his best every man's man, thoughtful and 
serious, lively and severe by turns, keeping the whole 
audience, composed of heterogeneous shades of opinion, 
spell-bound, as it were, for Hours together until late in 
the evening, when he announced amid the ringing of 
hearty applause, that the day's meeting was closed. He 
is a quiet modest and unassuming young man in the 
hey-day of youth, well versed in ancient and modern 
philosophy as Well as in formal sciences, and is withal 
made of a stuff of which persons of honest convictions 
ought to be made Gentle and amiable, childlike, innocent 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

in manners and behaviour, he yet has the iron hand 
inside the silken glove, for while scrupulously regardful 
of the feelings of others he is far more out-spoken in 
expressing his opinions than reckless, way-ward, self 
assumed custodians of divine will . It is hoped that this 
lover of truth and liberalism will never have cause to 
repent the course of life he has adopted, no find reason to 
regret his identification with the cause of Dharma 
Mahotsava, whose interests as a learned Sannyasin, he 
is most admirably suited to serve. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 



On his return from the United States of America he 
stayed at Muttra with an old Pharisee, Swami Shiv 
Guna Acharya in what was called Shanti Ashram 
on the opposite bank of the Jamuna. I came down 
from Lahore with a friend to see him there. On 
arrival at about eight in the morning, I found that 
he was still in his room with the door locked from 
inside. Even at the risk of disturbing him, I 
knocked at his door. "Who is it?" said he, "I, your 
Puran" replied I. He got up and opened the door. I 
met him after three years. It was winter. He was 
clad in an orange-coloured blanket, and he met me 
impersonally, bade me sit by him as he started, and 
there was a flash of light from his eyes as he said: 
"Sacrifice will secure the freedom of this country. 
Rama's head must go, then Puran's, then of a 
hundred others before the country can be free. 
India, mother India, must be free." I was 
astonished. This was not the talk he gave us at 
Tokyo where I first met him. The visit to the 
different lands of freedom had, it seems, beaten his 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

religious propaganda hollow. Here from all his 
talks I gathered that he gave the foremost place 
now to political propaganda. As we emerged after 
a while from the room, two gentlemen from Muttra 
clad in pattoo with black caps and long mufflers 
appeared on the scene apparently to see the 
Swami. The Swami responded to their salutations 
with hearty laughter that went ringing and ringing. 
He laughed continuously and having finished with 
it he said: "My countrymen! You have come to 
detect Rama. Rama opens his heart to you. The best 
thing in the world is to detect Rama. Detect him, 
find him, the world is under your feet." 

I and my companion were a bit surprised at this 
unusual method of his meeting these people at that 
particular hour. They immediately fell down at his 
feet and said: "Swamiji! Forgive. We came duty- 
bound. Seeing your face, we are vanquished. We 
are overpowered by your love. We are sinners." 
And they confessed that they were men on duty as 
men of the Government's Criminal Investigation 

Swami Shiv Guna Acharya would hold private 
conversation with him for hours and as Swamji 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

told me, "advising him to eschew his poHtics, to 
meet the Princes of India, get together a lot of 
money and establish his own sect and mission and 
gather power and all that old wisdom of the poor 
blind pharisees. Swami Rama treated this with 
contempt but he suffered staying with the monk 
for a little while: not that Swami Rama did not 
know the man, but he had once again in his own 
charitable way on his landing in India, accepted a 
total surrender of this monk voluntarily made by 
him as he went to receive him at Bombay. He, in a 
private room, dedicated his life to Swami Rama. 
Swami Rama took it in his own spirit. But it was 
soon found that this Pharisee had his own irons in 
the fire, and wished to utilise the character of 
Swami Rama to make himself famous in India. 
This alliance was finally broken by Swami Rama, 
by quietly slipping away to Pushkar from Muttra 
and from there he wrote to Swami Shiv Guna 
Acharya (see his letter given below^^) that he 
wished to work on his own lines and not to think 
of Princes and wealth and missions at all. 

At Muttra, he loved to sit on the silver sands of the 
Jamuna and loved to bask in the sun doing 

'^ Chapter XVI infra 


The Story Of Swami Rama 


Once he saw a few boats full of men and women 
coming to this side of the river from Muttra, They 
were Indian Christians going out for a picnic. 
Swami Rama saw them and said: "Puranj! They are 
Rama's; Rama is theirs too! Can you arrange at all 
for a talk? Rama wishes to speak to them". He was 
almost bare with one ochre-coloured Doti on. I 
went towards the incoming party of men and they 
came and stood and listened to him, and they 
loved to listen to him. He talked to them in a very 
happy strain and during the the conversation he 
said: "Rama thanks Christianity for having 
elevated you. What Hindus could not do for you, 
the Christians have done. Your elevation to a social 
dignity and your happy looks delight Rama. Rama 
belongs to you. You are Rama's." Then he told 
them some stories of his American tour and 
exhorted them to love their mother country. 

At Pushkar, Swami Narayan, his disciple joined 
him and I too went thither from Lahore with one or 
two friends. He was living in the Kishangarh State 
house on the bank of the famous Pushkar Lake 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

swarming with alligators. He had a small hollow 
piece of bamboo in his hand and as I met him he 
said: ''You have not seen this bamboo piece. It is 
wonderful, it is Rama's magic wand to drive the 
alligators away, it is Rama's portmanteau for 
keeping his pencils and papers (and here he 
showed me many such things safely lodged in the 
hollow), and this is Rama's everything. Rama has 
reduced his physical wants to this" and he laughed 
heartily. ''One becomes a veritable king, when his 
travelling kit is reduced to this and his wants 
confined to the narrow space of its hollow," He 
would sit on the top of the roof in the sun as it was 
winter still, and say: "Rama dislikes rooms, they 
look like graves" . 

He would take us all out in the evening on the 
Pushkar hill and tramp, tramp, tramp. He would 
not let us rest and would ask us go on singing 
(repeating) OM. No slackness was permitted. Once 
he sat on a slab on the brow of a mountain, "why 
can't these men find God? Call them, let them 
come to Rama, God is found!" His eyes would 
close, tears would stream out, his face would 
sparkle, and his arms would go vibrating in air, as 
if he was clasping the very universe in his embrace. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

"God! God! Here is God! Come those who wish to 
see God." And then he would be silent, his upper 
lip pressing his lower, and his face assuming the 
expression of a child that had just found his 
mother. His lips would almost part in child-like 
faith and dependence. During his talks, he would 
visibly flow out in silence, like a stream, rippling 
out, diffusing away, away! 

He took me to take a bath with him in the Pushkar 
Lake. "Rama will go before you and yon bathe 
standing behind him, but we must bathe in 
company with these alligators". And as we got in, 
he went breast-deep into the water, and half afraid 
for him and fully afraid for myself, as I knew no 
swimming, I followed him— we were two good 
morsels of flesh for the alligators. But apparently 
he was not afraid as he knew their habits well. He 
let his bamboo stick float before him, as if it was a 
real magic-wand forbidding entrance to the 
Alligators, and began dipping into the water. 
Closing the nostrils, pressing them between his 
two fingers he took a plunge. As he rose he said: 
"Purangi! See" the alligators have started towards 
us. Come, they are not willing that we should stay 
more in their waters." So we hurriedly came out. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Rama did not forget his little bamboo and stroked 
it and said: "This is a very good fellow. He serves 
Rama most faithfully." During the nights, with the 
light of a candle or an old Indian earthen lamp, he 
would read the poet Nazir and go on laughing, 
laughing. He was very fond of Nazir and admired 
him for his freedom. He would say "He is Rama's 
free boy. Rama minds not his little vulgarities. Let 
them be. But he is of metal that rings with the 
sound of God". 

In Punjabi folk-literature, he was fond of Gopal 
Singh's Kafis and he recited them shutting his eyes, 
with the original pang of the poet himself. "Rama 
knows Gopal Singh from his Sialkot days. This 
good man went all the way to Brindaban on foot. 
He danced all his life in self-intoxication." 

He did not permit any one to speak to him against 
any one. It is not good speaking ill of others and 
indulging in low, mean personal criticism of 
anybody. We must see the bright aide of 
everything and every man and justify them as 

But sometimes the conversations on India and its 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

leadership from many mouths would 
unconsciously stray away into personal criticism, 
when he would chant OM and say, "The temple 
bell has gone. Hush! No personal criticism". And 
make us repeat OM again. "You all get slack. The 
repetition of OM must go on", he would constantly 
urge. In this connection I recollect a humorous 
incident which may be related here. 

There was one young Madrasi boy come with me 
from Lahore Technical School, Mr. Naidu, who, I 
believe, afterwards, went to America to learn 
applied chemistry and returned with success." 
Naidu! Bring Dal" Swami Rama would say, while 
taking his meals outside the kitchen, and Mr. 
Naidu would promptly say just "OM" in reply. 
And as he would come back with Dal, he would 
not say, "Here it is, Swamiji," but only "OM"! And 
so abrupt and enthusiastic was his repetition on 
every occasion, that once we all laughed for hours 
on his 'OM' to everything and his one answer to 
every question. 

He took us to the Yajna Bhumi of Pushkar and told 
us how Pushkar Lake was sacred. It was the holy 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

place of Brahma Yajna which was celebrated here 
with great eclat. All gods and men had assembled 
but the conch shell would not sound, and it was 
the sound of the conch shell which was considered 
to be the voice of God declaring the Yajna to be a 
success. While this ceremonious Yajna was going 
on at this place, the true Brahma Yajna was going 
on in the heart of a lonely grass-cutter. He was not 
of their caste. He was so deeply immersed in God, 
that, when by chance, the scythe with which he 
was cutting grass struck his own flesh and 
wounded it, there came the colourless blood of 
grass from his veins and not the red human blood. 
With this wound, the man rose in divine madness 
and began dancing. And as he danced the trees 
and mountains began to dance with him and the 
leader of the Yajna came and fell at the feet of this 
holy man and, requested him to honor their Yajna 
as the conch shell did not sound! And when this 
holy man joined the Yajna, the conch shell 
sounded, and even the Gods were surprised, "This 
is Vedanta" Swami Rama ended. After relating any 
beautiful story of self-realisation, he would say, 
"This is Vedanta." 

At Muttra, he would take his admirers in crowds 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

out to the sandy wastes, and make the old bearded 
grandees take off their coats and boots and take 
physical exercise. No one was spared. All must 
take physical exercise. He would halt as the sun 
went down and begin his rapturous, measureless 
dances as his admirers would sit dumb seeing this 
rose-like man making his joy infinite. 

At Pushkar, there were not many men, but the half 
a dozen that went there were taught to tramp 
aimlessly for the sake of the pleasure of mere 

All the lectures that Swami Rama delivered at this 
period have a strong odour of patriotic fervour, 
particularly his messages to young men. Criticism 
and Universal Love, Yajna, National Dharma, 
Brahmacharya, Patriotism. His introduction to Rai 
Bai] Nath's Hinduism - Ancient arid Modern, is a 
masterpiece, and he paints Himself there as a true 
son of India. But in his letters, he is himself. 

Here in these written articles and messages, one 
finds the clear design of his lofty vision of 
Humanity with which he started from the 
Himalayas to the West, but he gave the message 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

stamped with his inspired individuaHty in a deep 
personal way. It seems apparent that he came back 
from America much impressed with the "success" 
achieved by the Western nations and wished his 
poor countrymen also to rise. One Religion cannot 
unite them, let the love of one common country 
inspire them with some life even physical. But this 
was not his own apt subject, and his appeal mixed 
as it was with transcendentalism was always weak. 
Swami Rama was not in his element here, he could 
not surpass Swami Vivekananda in his glorious 
speeches on the subject. Swami Vivekananda was a 
born nation-builder, while Swami Rama was an 
ecstatic personality with no thought of the morrow, 
no eye on the deeds of men. The contact with the 
West had therefore weakened Swami Rama on the 
whole, and that wondrous delicacy of emotion, 
that trembling throb of the Universal had cut itself 
into scarlet shreds to adorn stale sentiments on 
patriotism and common intellectual methods of 
nation building. Had he lived long and if he had 
developed his mind towards this direction instead 
of towards religious ecstacy, he would have 
become a great Nation-Builder, fm he had in him 
all the latent capacities for one. But as it is, he 
shook off these thoughts of a limited; sympathy as 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

birds shake off the drops of water from their 
plunlage. And ceaseless as he was in his effort for 
God and His Love — he would have surely shaken 
off these impressions from the West, even had he 
not taken to Sanskrit literature in his solitudes. 

But nothing could blur the mirror of his 
consciousness. When Mrs. Wellman, before her 
departure to America went to see him at Beas 
Ashram, he came to meet her, rowed in a basket by 
a rope across the swift current of the Ganges. He 
did so because he did not wish her to take this 
quaint perilous form of crossing the river, Mrs. 
Wellman on her departure to America told me a 
year before Swami' s death, that Rama would no 
more return to the plains from the mountains. As 
they parted, he said to her facing the setting sun on 
the blue current of the flowing Ganges and as the 
sun shone full on his God-incarnadined face, 
"Suryananda! (that was the name Swami had given 
to Mrs. Wellman) Good-bye! Go! Look! The sun is 
setting yonder! This is Rama. Forget not the 
Golden Land, carry it within you wherever you 
go!" And his tone and gesture indicated to Mrs. 
Wellman that he was bidding her the farewell of 
death. Mrs. Wellman sighed and said, ''India has 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

lost him, Swami Rama will no more return from 
the mountains. It is all over." 

A year after, he bade a touching farewell to me 
almost in the same terms, as he lived then in Uttra 
Khanda: "This is Hema Khanda, the Golden Land. 
Wherever you go, live here. Carry the Golden Land 
with you." 

The letters that he wrote from Pushkar (some of 
them reproduced below in Chapter XVI), to 
different people were written mostly basking in the 
winter sunshine on the roof of his house, and they 
have still in them enclosed the sunshine of his 
heart. On critically reading his prose and poetry of 
this period, I think his best poetry is in these and 
other short letters that he has written to "his friends 
from time to time, more than in his metrical 
compositions. And after these letters of his, come 
his selections of Urdu and Persian couplets and 
Gazals, in which we smell the fragrance of the soul 
of this great flower-gatherer himself. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 



HE would get tired, spent up by his public lectures 
in the plains and he would fly from society into the 
mountainous solitudes which he loved. And he 
would take great trouble in fixing up a spot for his 
solitary residence in the forests. Once he chose a 
plateau on the less frequented forest side bank of 
the Ganges, a little above Rishikesh on the way 
towards Badri Narayan called Beas Ashram, and 
he grew a beard while staying here for about a 
year. Whoever went to see him he told him: "Rama 
has got the beard of Vyasa." Here he began the 
systematic study of Sanskrit Grammar and 
literature including Shankara's Bhashya and the 
Vedas. Swami Rama while lecturing on his 
Vedanta at Allahabad and Benares was cut to the 
quick by the challenge of the Sanskrit Pandits of 
these places, that without being a Pandit of 
Sanskrit, how dared he preach the Philosophy of 
Vedanta? The poet in him was bitten, the student 
in him rose supreme in reply and determined that 
he would now know by sheer dint of hard labour, 
every one of the Vedic Mantrams, and he would go 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

through the Sanskrit Hterature on Vedanta 
according to the orthodox system. And so he did. 
The Pandits who met him after his residence at 
Beas Ashram saw the miraculous change, he was a 
scholar imbued with the orthodox spirit of 
traditional interpretations of Yedas, combined with 
his acquaintance with the methods of Western 
criticism and research. 

But this study of Sanskrit killed Swami Rama, it 
benumbed his gay bird-like spirit, it made a poet 
into a moody philosopher. On the commencement 
of his study, I had the temerity to address him a 
letter reminding him that his Pandit critics were 
dead, and why should he smart under their 
ignorant criticism, and ruin his own joy, by getting 
into the stale and musty atmosphere of old Sanskrit 
Grammar? To this he replied: "Rama has a lot of 
energy left and why not spend it in learning 

From Beas Ashram onward, he lived in the 
philology of the Sanskrit words and grammatical 
constructions and immersed in enjoying the beauty 
of the Vedic Mantrams. He laughed heartily at the 
wrong translations and misinterpretations of 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Vedas, introduced in certain quarters in India in 
the absurd faith of the infaUibiHty of Vedas, and in 
the still more absurd effort of proving them to be 
the text books on modern science also, and 
remarked: ''Every, one has the right to interpret for 
himself anything: as he likes. For example, Rama 
takes the wine of Hafiz to mean divine intoxication 
and; taking it in this way, Rama enjoys the divine 
wine of Hafiz in his own way. But he has no right 
to give this meaning to the word used. Similarly, 
no one has any right to depart from the traditional 
meanings of the Vedic Sanskrit." And Swami Rama 
considered Sayanacharya to be the sole guide to 
the Vedas. He admired the method of the 
European scholars. He condemned the indolent 
ignorance of the Hindu Pandits. He said to me at 
Vashishtha Ashram "Rama intends to write a book 
on the Vedas giving all the beautiful pieces both 
with the traditional meanings and with Rama's 
own interpretations." "The other day, Rama was 
sitting on a slab of stone, the skies were overcast 
and it was drizzling! Rama had just had his bath 
and felt that Rama was a woman waiting for God 
as her very Man, and Rama felt the quiver of the 
divinest passion tingling in his blood and every 
nerve of his rang like a fiddle string. The scenes of 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

nature assumed the most amorous colouring: 
Rama the woman was waiting passively with 
divine expectant joy for God, the Man. And a 
prayer rose in Rama's heart! ''Come, O God! I wish 
to conceive Thee and bear Thee in my womb. I 
wish to draw the life-juices from Thee". When he 
woke to study his Veda and opened the book to 
read any Mantram that may chance to come first 
on any page that may by itself open on opening the 
book, Rama was struck to see the Mantram of the 
day describing exactly the state of mind in which 
Rama was that morning. It is in this way that 
Vedas should be read and interpreted to oneself, 
and they should be interpreted in their traditional 
meaning in a scholarly way". The traditional 
meanings, of course, must and always, do lend 
themselves to a thousand progressive 
interpretations as the human mind and its ideas 
progress, just as the Bible with its original text 
intact is undergoing before our very eyes a 
hundred interpretations according to the ideas of 
the times. 

During this period of life, Swami Rama was 
imbued with the spirit of Shankaracharya's great 
Philosophy of Illusion, and this spirit seemingly 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

had sapped the foundations of that Hving joy in 
him. It should be admitted, that he had given up 
the food he used to draw from the Persian and 
EngHsh Hteratures. The study of Sanskrit philology 
and grammar starved him to death. Whatever 
might have happened ever since he began studying 
Sanskrit philology and grammar that inspiration, 
that Avesh began retiring from his body and mind. 
And I have no doubt his death by drowning cannot 
be dissociated from the pessimistic system of 
thought he had begun to harbour. He was by no 
means happy at Vashishtha Ashram, where he had 
gone from Beas Ashram, and was seen by me still 
indulging in Sanskrit grammar. 

In those days, he was busy writing articles. He had 
asked for a duplicator which I took with me. His 
writings of that period lay an emphasis on Bhakti, 
which he never laid before in his public utterances. 

The hill-men near Vashoon came and offered him 
milk and fruit. I had talks with them and they said: 
"Swami is a Deo (God) - not a man." They 
understood not a word of his philosophy, but they 
made him a hut to live in, in one day, and they 
brought him offerings and talked to him with 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

smiling faces as his veritable comrades. 

Missing very much his hilarity and laughter and 
vitality, I had the temerity to ask him, " Swamiji!, 
Why are you changed so much. You are distinctly 

'Turanji! The world is concerned only with my 
blossoms, and they taste me when I appear before 
them in my flowers. But they do not know, how 
much I have to labour underground, in the dark 
recesses, in my roots that gather the food for the 
flowers and the fruits. I am now in my roots. 
Silence is greater work, than the fire-works of 
preaching and giving off our thoughts to the 
world. It is the silence of Gaurpada and Gobind 
Acharya, that was at the back of the brilliant 
success of Shankara Acharya." 

In those days, I thought, and I think still, that his 
exegetical studies in original Sanskrit instead of 
being of any help to him, deepened his depression, 
and increased his sorrow of Illusion. He was 
distinctly below the mark; more a philosopher than 
a poet. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

He was nearing the Hindu Ideal of a Vedantic 
philosopher and would sit cross-legged for days 
and days unaffected by the opposites and 
unconcerned with his body. He would say: "Who 
says there is a world? It never was, never is, and 
never shall be." And at the same time he would 
also say "You people come and make Rama believe 
in you as realities and forget Him. All relations are 
means of forgetting the Lord." It was evident that 
as his study of philosophy deepened, it gave him 
more of sadness in which he would turn his mind 
to God again, and, again as a Bhakta. He would 
still think of Him in no other terms but of Love, to 
live move and have his being in Him. 

On another occasion, while taking a walk on the 
oak-covered paths, he told me: "You have done 
well in having married. It is a stable life. Your wife 
must be your helpmate in realising the Divine. 
Come up, both of you, give up the world and live 
on these hill-tops. You could occupy any other 
peak, a few miles distant from Rama, as Rama 
occupies one here." 

I don't remember how the talk strayed into the 
coming of his wife and child at Hardwar when he 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

said: "How divine was the face of Brahmananda's 
mother. She looked transfigured that day, did she 

"You remember Rama told you to send Rama's 
family people away at Hardwar and you got so 
enraged. Rama too has a heart but at that tune he 
thought of obeying the laws of the robe he was 
wearing. It was a formal refusal on his part to see 
them. How can man forget his personal relation 
when emotion still stirs in his breast, be it for God 
or for man? The poets cannot be petrified into 
unfeeling stones. Spiritual development does not 
mean insensateness. They killed Keats by harsh 
words only. The greater the development, the 
greater the feeling." 

"Puranji! Rama never knew that this ochre garb is 
no more the symbol of freedom in this country. 
Slaves have begun to wear these robes and they 
have made it so formal, so conventional that Rama 
feels impatient about it now. "When he next goes 
down to the plains, in a full assembly, he will tear 
his robe into pieces in public and announce that the 
orange robe of the Sanyasi is no more the vehicle of 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

How strangely enough, he had discarded this 
colour at Vashishtha Ashram. He had a grey Patu 
wear and a black brown merino turban. He had 
trousers and a Kurta and not the flowing robes of 
the Sanyasi. 

"Does not Rama look now as a Mauivi with a huge 
Imama (Moslem turban)?" said he. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 




HE was now quite changed; that hilarity had gone! 
- that bursting, bubbling flow of cheerfulness had 
sunk deep! He would slip now and then while 
walking and fall and say: "Ah I Rama had just 
forgotten his Beloved, so he has fallen, otherwise 
there can be no fall. We slip first within and then 
we fall without. The outward fall is only 
contingent. Always take care within. Not a breath 
to pass without the Beloved. Fill your breath with 
Him." And in the evenings, he would burst forth 
singing and clapping his hands and dancing. He 
looked a veritable Vaishnava and he faintly 
reminded one of the semblance of the Hari-dances 
of Chaitanya. Bhakti was predominant in his 
bosom and it was in these days, that he wrote his 
introduction to the Hindi booklet on prayer by the 
late Judge Baijnath. This piece of writing truly 
registers the condition of his mind at Vashishtha 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

While bathing one day he said: "If Vedanta is fully 
realised, this physical body can be made 
everlasting. "But I did not understand him; I think 
he said something the meaning of which was not 
quite clear even to himself. 

He was a great reader and I had taken a few books 
for him. He would be sitting in his hut or lying 
down and I would draw his attention to those 
books and take one of them and give it into his 
hands. But I found it had become difficult for him 
to read anything and the book would drop from 
his hands, tears would roll down from his eyes and 
a few sweet sad words come out and say "Rama 
cannot read any more". Was it self-exhaustion or 
deeper self-absorption? 

Swami Narayan, his disciple contended that it was 
due to dyspepsia, and the wrong kind of food that 
he was having and held many a bitter talk in his 
wild love for him to bring the Swami to his views. 

Swami Narayan actually grew impatient with the 
Swami's laziness. One day we all resolved to go to 
Buddha Kidar glaciers via Poali Kanta, and Swami 
agreed to go. We started. We climbed the Vishoon 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

top, and reaching the extensive grassy plateau 
above the snow Hne late towards the evening, we 
came near a shepherd's hut, and the shepherd 
infused all hospitality and would not let us in. I 
beseeched him, and Swami Narayan too beseeched 
him to no purpose. However when Swami Rama 
walked straight in and with him everyone, the 
shepherd welcomed us gladly enough. We spent a 
good night under the mat tent of the shepherd. In 
the morning, Swami Rama stood outside, showing 
me the sublimest vision of the Himalayan glaciers 
from Badri Narayan to Jamnotri and their superb 
engoldenment by the rising sun. While there, I 
found Swami Rama was not willing to proceed 
further, as he thought this tramping, tramping 
aimlessly useless, "What use is travelling on hills, if 
we forget Him? Blessed is staying at home if we 
have Him with us." To forestall him, I showed my 
blistered heels to him and pleaded inability to go 
further. He called Narayan Swami and said; 
"Puranji cannot go further, he is not accustomed to 
long tramps like this, so we must return to our 
Ashram." "It is folly to fall in company with you 
fellows," said Swami Narayan to me, "You are so 
faulty of foot. Swamiji! You do not wish to proceed 
and you put Puranji as an excuse. I am sure he will 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

go, if you go." 

It was fairly bitter, but Swami Rama again said: 
''Narayanji! We must return." So we all returned. 

On many occasions, Swami Narayan would slip 
into similar bitter discussions and Swami Rama 
would remind him: "No discussions, please!" He 
had ordered we should not bring in any 
personalities in the purview of our talk, if our spirit 
of bringing them in was adverse intellectual 
criticism. But many a time every one of us slipped 
again and again, into such forbidden things. 

Once Swami Narayan was mercilessly dissecting a 
person when Swami Rama reminded him of his 
standing orders. "No, Swamiji, I am not criticising 
him. I am only studying the psychology of his 
mind". This caused a great laughter for a long 

In these days, Swami Rama was very sensitive to 
criticism himself and in order to suffer no 
argument from Narayan Swami, he had already 
asked him to live apart. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

A letter reached him here that the Indian pohce 
were after him, suspecting him to be a great 
nationahst who wished to subvert the British 
Government. He said: ''Tell them I do not defend 
myself. They may treat me as they like. I cannot be 
other than what I am. I wish as an Indian that my 
country should be free. Free it shall be one day, but 
whether this Rama secures its freedom or a 
thousand other Ramas, no one knows" . 

On the day of my departure from Vashishtha 
Ashram, he asked me to bathe him. I took his 
cocoanut bowl and his towel and followed him to 
the stream. He was very reluctant to do anything 
himself. I took off his clothes and made him bare. 
He got into the stream and I bathed him with my 
own hands. The sky was cloudy the whole 
morning and as he came back to his hut, it was 
time for me to depart. 'Turanji! Wherever you go, 
live in the Golden Land, in the inner light. Carry on 
the work that Rama has begun, for the time has 
come for Rama to take the vow of silence - maun ho 

''Swamiji! When I come I will tickle your sides and 
you will laugh and speak and I will break your 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

vow of silence", said I. 

His eyes grew red and he became quite serious and 
said, "Who can make the silent one speak again". I 
was almost afraid to say a word further. We 
started, he came along to leave me, Narayan 
Swami whom he asked to accompany us, and 
another friend, a long way down the hill. He came 
as he was, with no cover on but a small loin cloth 
just as he had come out of the stream. It began 
drizzling. I was full with tears. And when I bowed 
to him to take a farewell, he suddenly and speedily 
ran back up the hill without casting back even a 
look, snapping so to say, with the suddenness all 
his own, all personal ties with me. 

Narayan Swami tells me that when he came down 
from there, after about a month, to Tehri (Garhwal) 
and was put up at Simlasu, a sylvan house of the 
Raja of Tehri as his guest, he asked him to go and 
get a hut made for him on the banks of the Ganges 
under his own supervision. And he came to leave 
Swami Narayan a long way off from that house, 
giving him exactly the same message which he had 
given me a month before. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Swami Narayan never saw him again. Nor did I. 
Both these farewells were the farewells of his 
approaching death. 

He was living at Simlasu and writing articles for 
the Press. The last he wrote was ''The stamped 
deed of the progress (of men and nations)". And 
the last para he wrote was in pencil. It was the day 
Of Dewali, a Hindu festival. The Billing Ganga 
flows down below and on its high raised banks 
situated this Simlasu house. As usual, he used to 
go and have his exercise and bath in the Ganges. 
But one day, having swum across it and having 
jumped into its current from a high rock, he had 
hurt his knee, and so for some days previous to 
this fateful day of Dewali, he was having his bath 
with the Ganges water brought up to him. On 
the Dewali day, he again thought of bathing in the 
river. The last para in pencil was written and laid 
aside and he went down. He never came up, for he 
went into the river in breast-deep waters, and as 
was his wont, closing his nostrils with his fingers, 
he plunged under the surface of the waters. 

It seems he lost his foothold. Weak and exhausted 
physically as he was, by his abstinence from solid 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

food for months and by the painful knee, he could 
not swim up nor hold his own, especially as he got 
into a whirl of waters there under the surface. It 
was after some time that he rose to the surface, and 
he was seen putting out a little struggle, but it was 
soon over. His body floated down the river, as if he 
died just as he struggled up to the surface by the 
very exertion. 

The paragraph in pencil when translated thus: 

Death! Take away this body if you please! I care not. I 
have enough of bodies to use. I can wear those silver 
threads, the beams of the moon, and I live. I can roam as 
a divine minstrel putting on the guise hilly streams and 
mountain brooks. I can dance in the waves of the sea. I 
am the breeze that proudly walks and I am the wind 
inebriated. All these shapes of mine are wandering 
shapes of change. I came down from yonder hills, raised 
the dead, awakened the sleeping, unveiled the fair faces 
of some and wiped the tears of a few weeping ones. The 
bulbul and the rose both I saw and I comforted them. I 
touched this, I touched that, I doff my hat and off I am. 
Here I go and there I go, none can find me. 

1 don't think now, as I thought then, that in this 
paragraph he was forecasting in any sense his own 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

death. He was writing an article in his own style. 
But it is remarkable that he should think of death; 
he thought of it and there he died! The thoughts of 
death crowding on him in these days, the languor 
of his sad mind, all tend to show the depression 
that was on him, which neither I nor anyone else 
had the insight to diagnose, far less to cure. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 



SWAMI RAMA was not a very regular 
correspondent and used to write but rarely. His 
circle of correspondents too was limited. It was 
only to the most intimate of his acquaintances or 
friends towards whom he was drawn by the 
spiritual bonds of love and sympathy that he 
indited his messages. A few of such letters, most of 
them given by Mrs. Wellman are reproduced 

Letters are a species of literary hors-d'oeuvre 
which usually find a place in biography on account 
of their autobiographical interest. But in the letters 
of Swami Rama the autobiographical is the very 
element which is conspicuous by its absence. There 
is little in them to half conceal and half reveal, as 
usually letters do, the -author's likes and dislikes, 
predilections and prejudices, his tastes and 
feelings, his views on men and things, on cabbages 
and kings. There was little, very little of the 
personal element in all that Swami Rama wrote or 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

taught and it is no wonder that his letters are 
practically devoid of any personal touches. 

The letters have all of them one dominant 
characteristic, they give expression in one way or 
other to the message which Swami Rama felt called 
upon to give the world. Each of the letters is a 
clarion call to live one's life on the Vedantic plane, 
casting off the coils of the little self. Rama's own 
life was a perfect exemplification of that ideal, and 
in each of the letters we find some reflection of that 
ideal. As Emerson said, "The men of real Power are 
always men of One Idea, who send all the force of 
their being along one line." The remark is true in 
every sense of Swami Rama. He was a man of one 
idea, not built up of bits and fragments. His being 
poured along one main powerful channel, 
undisturbed by any cross currents or subcurrents. 
Everything he spoke, everything he wrote, 
everything he did rang with the one divine 
message he came to deliver tor the world. 

The letters have also, it may lastly be said, a 
literary charm of their own. Their literary flavor 
comes of an extensive reading and a culture as 
catholic in taste as it was extensive in range. Their 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

literary grace, it may be said, is not the result of 
assiduous cultivation but the natural and 
spontaneous expression of a noble and thoughtful 
personality. Added to their literary grace there is a 
piquant directness of style which comes of the very 
fullness of thought finding sudden vent. In the 
speed of expression, pouring forth a wealth of 
illustration and argument, there is little time to 
prune and reshape the matter. And it is better so 
for what may be lost in external polish is more than 
regained in force and vigour of style. 

The following letters were written to Mrs. 

Shasta Springs, California, 
8th October, 1903. 


...Rama thoroughly appreciates every movement 
of yours. Rama is not selfish enough to 
misunderstand, nor is there any likelihood of Rama 
ever forgetting one who has become Rama in her 
love for India, Truth and suffering Humanity. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Surya means the Suni^. ''Resist not evil" does not 
mean become a passive nonentity; no, not at all. 
The saying has no reference to the acts of the body. 
It is a commandment touching the mind, and mind 
alone, inculcating Peace of mind. Mental 
Resistance, opposition and revolt always bring 
about discord, irritation and worry. Instead of 
"curling up" and consequently unbalancing 
yourself overcome the seeming evil by Love 
(Sacrifice, or giving nature) than which there is no 
higher force. 

'Resist not eviF and welcome events with the good 
cheer of a giver. Great souls never lose their 
balance. By preserving our calm we can always 
turn the stumbling blocks into stepping stones. 
Never, never should you let the feeling of 
helplessness cross your mind. 

Just now the thought comes to Rama that on 
reaching India you should at your earliest 
convenience inquire about the whereabouts of 
Puran who must be somewhere in the Punjab. He 
is the Editor of Thundering Dawn. No introductory 

"' The reference is to 'Suryananda ' the name Swami Rama gave to 
Mrs. Wellman. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

letters are necessary for him. 

Hoping you will immediately write to Rama after 
securing a berth. 

Your own pure heroic self as 


(This letter was written to Mrs. Wellman when she was 
undergoing a great mental strain in regard to her 
contemplated journey to India, as much opposition was 
raised against her going) 


Shasta Springs, California, 
October 10, 1903. 


Your dear letter with paper and envelopes to haul 
(She sent him a box of paper and envelopes.) You 
will be accorded a hearty welcome when you step 
on that sympathetic soil (India). Rama has already 
written to India. In case you go there, you will find 
your name out-speeding you. You are welcome 
wherever you want to break journey. . . (Then in 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

answer to a question) "When we give ourselves up 
to levity, frivolity, and jollity, by an invisible Law of 
Nature we suffer from the reaction which presses 
us low down. The wise man keeps his heart always 
at home, and interested only in the One Supreme 

As to the things of the world, he attends to them in 
the disinterested, dispassionate, indifferent, and 
self-possessed mood of a munificent princely giver. 

This noble attitude is kept up in all active work. 
And in reference to passive experiences the free 
soul undergoes them all unaffected, unmoved, and 
in good cheer, vividly remembering all the time his 
native glory. "I am alone the One without a second. 
The Sun is my semblance. Constant meditation of 
your own real Surya (Sun) character and applying 
to it every affair of life makes you the phenomenal 
Self, the highest manifestation of Love, Light and 
Life. You will write to Rama before setting sail or 
embarkation. You should also write when you 
reach Japan and Hongkong. Rama will be ever so 
glad to do anything for you in India. 

Your noble, lovely self as 



The Story Of Swami Rama 


Shasta Springs, California, 
October 16, 1903 


Both your letters came to Rama's hands 
simultaneously this noon. All is well and 
satisfactory. As you are going on a long trip, it 
might prove beneficial for you to add a little more 
to your knowledge of human nature, and indelibly 
impress on your mind the importance of keeping 
ourselves perfectly collected, serene, and at home 
all the time. The apparent delays and oppositions 
are all meant to add to your inner power and 
purityi^. Naturalists have decisively shown that no 
evolution or progress could ever take place had it 
not been for struggles and opposition. 

Do you remember the story of Robert Bruce and 
the Spider? 'Ts not every grand discovery preceded 
by hundreds, nay thousands of unsuccessful 

" Jliis was in reference to a delay of certain matter which gave 
Mrs. Wellman much uneasiness on the eve of her departure to 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

attempts?" Early in the morning you would do 
well to spend about half an hour in repeating to 
yourself this Mantram (pardon omission of 
Mantram). Be strongly instilling into your very 
nature the truth involved in this Mantram while 
repeating it. This kind of continual auto-suggestion 
will make a thorough Sanyasin (Swami) of you. 
You will please soon write as to what 
arrangements are made about your passage. With 
deepest love and sincerest regard. 

Your Own Self, 


Shasta Springs, California, 
October 21, 1903 


Yours of yesterday just to hand. 

O! What a happy news, sailing for India! At 
Hongkong, if you call on Wossiamal Assomal (near 
the Clock Tower), you might delight the Hindu 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

merchants by telling them about the happy state of 
Rama (Tirath) Swami and your own noble mission. 
The people to whom the letters have already been 
given will furnish you satisfactorily with the 
information about all local matters. You need only 
a start, everything else will run smoothly enough 
afterwards! Bear one thing in mind. When you 
happen to visit the people of any sect, never, never, 
never, you attend to, mark, or remember their 
criticisms of other parties. If you find any spirit of 
devotion, divine love, charity, or spiritual 
knowledge anywhere, take it up, absorb it, 
assimilate it, and have no time to pick up any 
body's jealousy. Don't notice their drawbacks and 

Forget not to see Seth Sita Rama in Calcutta. You 
might also pay a visit whilst in Calcutta to the 
learnt Editor of the Dawn, an unassuming, pure, 
self-denying, devoted, orthodox Vedantin. He also 
successfully carries on an educational and 
boarding institution. In Calcutta you could also 
enjoy the Sankirtan, devotional dance. 

Mother India will receive you as always a loving 
mother does a returning child estranged for years 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

and years. Adieu for the present. Rama is always 

Passage to India! 

O! We can wait no longer! 

We too take ship, O soul! 

To you, we too launch out on trackless seas 

Fearless for unknown shores, on waves of ecstasy To sail. 

Amid the wafting winds 

Carolling free - singing our song of God! 

Chanting our chant of happy soothing OM! 

Passage to India! 

Sailing these seas, or on the hills, or walking in the night. 

Thoughts, silent thoughts of Time and Space and 

Death like waters flowing. 

Bear me indeed as through the regions infinite 

Whose air 1 breathe. 

Bathe me, O God in Thee, mounting to Thee 

1 and my soul to range, in reach of Thee, 

Passage to Mother India! 

Reckoning ahead, O soul, when 

Thou the time achieved. 

The seas all crossed, weathered the capes, the voyage done. 

Surrendered, copest, frontest, God, 

Yieldest the aim attained 

As filled with friendship. Love complete. 

The Elder Brother found. 

The younger melts in fondness in his arms. 

Passage to India 

Are thy wings plumed indeed for such far flight 

O soul, voyagest thou indeed on voyage like this? 

Soundest below the Sanskrit and the Vedas? 

Then have thy bent unabashed, 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Passage to you, your shores, ye aged fierce enigmas. 

Passage to you, to mastership of you, you. 

Strangling problems. 

Passage to mother India, 

O secret of earth and sky! 

Of you, O waters of the sea! 

O winding creeks and Ganges! 

Of you, O woods and fields! Of you O mighty Himalayas, 

Of morning red! O clouds! O rain and snows, 

O day and night, passage to you! 

O sun and moon, and all ye stars, Sirius and Jupiter 

Passage to you! 

Passage, immediate Passage! 

The blood burns in my veins! 

Away O soul, hoist instantly the anchor 

Cut the hawsers - haul out - shake out everything 

Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough? 

Sail forth, steer for the deep waters only. 

For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go. 

And we will risk the ship ourselves and all. 

O my brave soul! 

O father, father, sail, 

O daring joy but safe, 

O father, father, sail. 

To your real Home. 



The Story Of Swami Rama 


Chicago, Illinois, 
February 15, 1904. 


Your numerous letters, the telegram, and all came 
duly to Rama's hands. When there is but one 
Reality, who should thank whom? Rama is filled 
with joy, Rama is all joy. All the time Rama is all 
peace. Work flows from Rama. Rama doeth no 
work. Be thou the fragrant rose, and the sweet 
aroma will waft of itself all around from thee! 

Do you feel yourself a Hindu with your whole 
heart? Do you realise their errors and superstitions 
as your own? Could you trust them as your own 
brothers and sisters? Did you ever forget your 
American birth and find yourself transfigured into 
a born Hindu as Rama often sees in himself a deep- 
eyed bigoted Christian. If so, wonderful work will 
emanate from you spontaneously. 

Who are you? Who are you who go to save the 
lost? Are you saved yourself? 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Do you know that ''whosoever would his Hfe must 
lose it?" Are you then one of the lost? Arise then 
and be a savior. Be a sinner - realize your oneness 
with him, and you can save him. There is no other 
way but this one way of love, to conquer all. 

OM! OM!! 

Your Own Self as 

Minneapolis, M.N., U.S.A. 
April 3, 1904 


Where are you? No letter was received from dear 
noble mother after the happy New Year letter — 
written from Muttra. Peace, Peace, Peace comes 
from within. The kingdom of Heaven is within 
alone. In books, temples, prophets, and saints — in 
vain, in vain the search after happiness. Your 
experience must have shown it by this time. If the 
lesson is once learnt, it is not dearly bought, no 
matter how much it costs. Sit alone, convert your 
every anguish into Divine Bliss. You may receive 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

inspiring suggestions from books like The 
Thundering Dawn. Meditate on OM! And be a 
giver of peace to mankind and not an expectant 
seeker. Dear one, do you remember the last talk 
Rama gave you on the side of the creek at Shasta 
Springs? It was given not as a seeker, but as the 
perpetual giver of Light and Love. Our hearts 
break when we are in the seeking attitude. You 
must have verified the state of affairs in India as 
described in Rama's ''Appeal to Americans" Read 
that lecture once more, if you please. Don't expect 
any immediate, ostesfesible results you're your 
labour of love. "Be contented to Serve" says the 
spirit of Christ. We cannot receive any gift, 
benediction or reward higher than the privilege of 
serving. If you have not met Babu Ganga Prasad 
Varma, editor of the Advocate, Lucknow do please 
see him. Does your heart take more delight in 
sharing the sufferings of poor Hindus in India or in 
enjoying the comforts of life in America? 

Rama was one month in Portland, Oregon, one 
month in Denver, two weeks in Chicago, and a 
couple of weeks in Minneapolis. Vedanta societies 
were organised at these places. Free scholarships 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

for poor Hindu students were secured at different 
Universities. Prom here Rama goes to Buffalo, N.Y. 
Thence to Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and 
Washington D.C. On June 29, 30 and 31, Rama is to 
be at the meetings of the World's Unity League, St. 
Louis. In July Rama is to be at Lake Geneva.. "Next 
fall Rama comes to London, England. Be not 
discouraged, mother dear. Look only to the sunny 
side of things. There is no rose without a thorn, 
unmixed good is not to be found in this world. The 
All Good is only the self supreme. If India had 
Vedanta (Truth) in practice, what necessity would 
there have been for appealing to America? When 
your heart is perfectly attuned to the Beauty of All, 
you will find everything glorious everywhere. 
Peace! Peace! Peace! 

Central Bliss, Inner joy, for ever and for ever. 

Your Own Self as 


William's Bay, Wis. or Lake Geneva, 

July 8, IMC 


The Story Of Swami Rama 


Your letters reached Rama. Thank you. Rama 
understands the situation through and through. 
Peace, Joy, and success shall ever abide with thee. 
There is no fear, nor danger, nor difficulty of any 
kind for a pure soul having cast aside the sense of 
possession and desire. I stretch myself in the 
Universe, and rest free! Free! The viper to the 
breast is the little T'. Fling it aside and all the world 
pays you homage. On Rama's return from 
Minneapolis, a long, type-written letter was mailed 
to your noble self for publication in the ''Practical 
Wisdom". The subject of the letter was Practical 
Wisdom. The first meeting of the World's Unity 
League at St. Louis was opened under Rama's 
presidency. In addition to Rama's lectures at the 
Unity League, talks were also given under the 
auspices of the Theosophical Society and the 
Church of Practical Christianity at St. Louis, 
besides some other places. Rama goes to Chicago 
in a few days, thence to Buffalo, Lily Dale, and 
Greenacre Maine, and leaves America in or before 

Peace, Blessings, and Love to all. 

The Story Of Swami Rama 

Your Own Self as 


Jacksonville, Florida, 
October 1,1904 


Rama has not written anything to you for some 
time. It is because 

(1) Rama has been ever so busy, 

(2) Wrote no letters to any person in India except 
the few letters for the Press, 

(3) Knowing that you were in good hands Rama 
did not think letters from him needful, 

(4) Since leaving Minneapolis Rama received no 
letters from you. 

Peace, Blessings, Love, and Joy abide with you 
forever and ever. 

In following your own inner voice truly, you can 
be false to no one. We owe nobody anything. Let 
our labour be the labour of love. To be ever sound 
solvent should be our maxim. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Let everybody have his or her experience free. The 
only right we have is to serve and help our 
fellowmen in their onward march. But let the 
march be really onward and not a make-believe 
progress. When I help my friends in their spiritual 
progression, I fall myself with them. Whatever you 
do, wherever you are, Rama's blessings and love 
are with you. Day after to-morrow Rama starts for 
New York. On 8th October most probably embarks 
on board the Princess Irene for Gibraltar, It will 
probably be some time before reaching India, 
because there is a likelihood of stopping at many 
places on the way. 

Motto to remember and to practice: 

If you know anything unworthy of a friend, forget 


If you know anything pleasant about the person, 

tell it. His countenance, like richest alchemy, will 

change to virtue and to worthiness. 

The sun-like attitude of a fearless, continuous 
giver, serving without hope of reward, shedding 
light and life out of free love, living in Divine 
radiance as God's glory, above all sense of 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

personality, exempt from selfishness, is Salvation 
and Redemption. "I eat of the heavenly manna, 
drink of the heavenly wine, God is within and 
around me. All God is forever mine." 

Your Own Self 

The following letters were addressed from Pushkar 
to Mrs. Wellman after Swami Rama's return to 

OM! OM! 

February 14, 1905 


A Graduate of the Bombay University, a beautiful 
young man, has offered his life to Rama's work 

He will stay with Rama assisting in literary work. 
How good is Providence or dear God. It or He 
never deceives those who work in trust on Him. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Narayana Swami will soon be sent to lecture 

The work in nooks and corners is as grand as the 
work in the bright centres. In a Persian wheel, the 
small tooth-like wooden support (called Kutta in 
Hindustani) is just as important as the oxen. The 
whole mechanism cannot stand if the poor wooden 
support be taken off. Nay, every nail attached to 
the spokes is of paramount importance. What if 
children do not make use of such apparently small 
things. In the eyes of God work however humble is 
just as grand when done in the spirit of Love. The 
puny dew-drop appears nothing before the 
glorious Sun, but the observant eye sees that this 
very tiny drop reflects the whole of the solar orb in 
its sweet little bosom. So, my blessed dear mother, 
soft, silent work in neglected quarters unknown to 
name and fame is just as noble and indispensable 
as loud noisy work which attracts the attention of 
all mankind. I had been despondent over the little I 
seemed to be doing. ''They also serve who only 
stand and wait". The mother swathes the tender 
babe and when Time brings him to the University 
and the Professor lectures to the grown-up boy, the 
mother's role is not so high-flown and reputation- 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

bearing as that of the Professor. Nevertheless the 
mother's duty is far more sweet and important 
than the Professor's. We cannot suffer the maternal 
lap and lullaby in childhood to be replaced by the 
Professor's room and lectures. 

Vedanta requires a common coolie to look upon his 
humble labour to be just as important and sacred 
as that of a Christ or Krishna. When we move one 
leg of a chair, do we not move the whole chair? So 
when we raise or elevate one soul we raise and 
ennoble the whole world through him, so rigid is 
the solidarity of Man. 

"Bounded by themselves, and unregardful in what 
state God's other work may be, in their own tasks 
pouring all their powers, these attain the mighty 
life you see". 

O air-born voice! Long since severely clear. 
A cry like thine in mine own heart I hear. 

Resolve to be thyself; and know that he who finds 
himself, loses his misery. 

Joy! Joy! OM 1 Peace! Blessings! Love! 



The Story Of Swami Rama 

Pushkar, District Ajmer, 
February 22, 1901 

OM! Peace! Blessings! Love! Joy! 


Your sweet, heavenly letter received. It is indeed 
wonderful unison with God, and marvellous 
harmony with Love, to have such beautiful control 
over the physical as blessed Suryananda has^^. 

OM! Joy! Jai! Jai! 


Your Own Self as 

Pushkar, Ajmer District 

OM! Joy! Joy! OM! Peace. 


' Mr. Wellman had been ill and healed by divine power 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Rama had been lying on the roof where you with 



Lost in Divine consciousness, unconscious till your 
letter along with some letters was brought and 
placed in Rama's hands. A long, hearty and happy 
laughter was sent to your blessed self, before 
opening the letter. OM I Peace I Peace! Peace! 
Dearest Mother, Rama sends you another peal of 
joyful laughter after reading your sweet letter. 

Mother, you are all right every way, and Rama 
thoroughly understands your pure, sweet, tender 
gentle nature. Rama is writing — prose and some 
poetry — on different subjects according to God's 

Babu Ganga Parshad Varma was to go out to other 
provinces in India, visiting the girl's schools and 
watching the Female Education System abroad, 
with the view of introducing speedy Female 
Education Reforms in Lucknow and elsewhere. 
This work was entrusted to him by the Local 
Government. For this reason he could not come to 
see Rama before March. Rama probably won't stay 
on the plains in the summer. Rama loves Kashmir 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

and would highly enjoy your benign company and 
that of Rai Bhawani Das and other friends. Rama's 
presence and talks would benefit innumerable 
hungry souls, if Rama could go with you to 
Kashmir. But, mother divine, the highest privilege 
that a person can enjoy is the continuous burning 
of the heart, mind, body and all at the altar of Tnith 
and Humanity and this is the way acceptable to the 
Supreme Spirit in the form of the impersonal, 
unadulterated, small, still voice from within. 

"If Duty calls to brazen walls. 
How base the fool who flinches." 

Mother, consecrated life often is led by some 
mysterious Divine reason that cannot be analysed. 

Rama may accompany you to Kashmir but 
nothing-definite can be said till the very moment of 

Your Own Self 


The Story Of Swami Rama 


March 9, 1905 


Your prophecy about Rama's coming has proved 
true in so far that Rama has left Pushkar. Which 
way Rama goes from here, he leaves in the hands 
of the Supreme Providence (the Surya of Suryas) to 
decide when the time comes. Two lectures were 
delivered in Ajmer Town Hall. They are going to 
arrange for Lectures in the Town Hall at Jaipur. 
Puran had been to Pushkar, and wandered with 
Rama on the hills for two or three days. How sweet 
is Diljang Singh. People are coming in crowds to 
see Rama, and this must be closed. God and I! 

All this day we will go together, the night ever 
insatiate of love we will sleep together and rise 
early and go forward in the morning wherever the 
steps shall lead, in solitary places or among the 
crowd, it shall be well. We shall not desire to come 
to the end of the journey nor consider what the end 
may be. Is not the end of all things with us 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

OM! OM! OM! 

Soon will Rama be beyond the reach of letters in 
forests, on hills, in God, in you. Don't know when 
next you may hear from 

Your Own Self, 
Peace, Blessings, Love betide Thee forever. 


Thursday Evening 


Your prophecy has come out true and Rama is 
coming to Dehra and his Divine mother. But 
people out of extreme love stopped Rama at 
several places on the way. Lectures have been 
delivered at Alwar, Moradabad, Ajmer and Jaipur. 
Rama stopped at Hardwar, parting company on 
the train with our beloved, blessed Babu Jyotis 
Swarupa. The people here have come to know 
about Rama's presence, and they most lovingly 
implore Rama to prolong his stay. Rama also does 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

not think it worthwhile to lose this opportunity to 
do what he can to improve the condition of the 
youthful Sadhus and others who are wonderfully 
receptive and hungry for anything proceeding 
from Rama. Work among the Sadhus, mother, is 
just what you wanted Rama to undertake, when 
we met at Muttra. Very lovely Swamis are taking 
to Rama's teachings. 

Rama went up to the temple of Chandi on the 
opposite bank of the Ganges today. The temple lies 
on the top of a lovely little hill. The forest on that 
side of the river is very thick and the scenery most 
picturesque. The view of the Ganges, as branching 
into scores of streams, and returning is extremely 
beautiful. The Himalayan glaciers present a golden 
or diamond spectacle from Chandi's Temple. 

Blessed One, 

Neither praise nor blame. 
Neither friends nor foes. 
Neither loves, nor hatred. 
Neither body, nor its relations. 
Neither home, nor strange land. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

No! Nothing of this world is important God is! 
God is real, God is the only reality. 
Let everything go. God, God alone is the all in alt. 
Peace immortal falls as rain drops. Nectar is 
dropping in the rain drops. Rama's mind is full of 
peace. Joy flows from me. 

Happy is Rama, and ever happy 

Are you, dear mother. Peace! Blessings! 

Love! Joy! Joy! OM! OM! OM! 

Love, Blessings, Joy to your pupils, hostess and 

host (Babu and Mrs. Jyotis Swarupa) 

Your Own Self 

July 5, 1905 

Rama's letter sent about a week ago to your 
Mussoorie address may have reached your noble 
self before this. Rama cannot go to Kashmir this 
summer. So you may leisurely enjoy your pleasure 
trip to Kailas, Man Sarowar, and other places. In 
the picturesque mountain scenes, you will surely 
feel at home at tie sight of landscapes reminding 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

you of the scenes earlier in life in blessed America. 

Rama is very happy! 

In the floods of life, in the storm of deeds up and 

down 1 fly. 

Hither, thither weave. 

From birth to grave 

An endless web. 

A changing sea 

Of glowing life. 

Thus in the whistling loom of time 

1 fly weaving the living robe of Deity. 


Your Own Self, 

August 10, 1905 

Blessings! Love! Joy! Peace! Peace! 


Your letter w^as received a few days ago. But Rama 
has replied to no letters lately. Today are finished 
three very useful books that Rama has been w^riting 
in the Vernacular for the people. How^ is your 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

health now? Rama wishes, you perfect health and 


To arrange for your passage to America is not a 
hard matter, but we want you to remain with us. 
Perhaps it is selfish, but you also love the people 
here. Are you sure that the feebleness of the 
physique is due only to the Indian climate, and 
return to America will certainly do you good? If so, 
none of us should insist on keeping you here. We 
should all help to see you arrive safely in 

Peace! Heartfelt Blessings! Love! 

Hope this letter will see you in good health. 



Following are some of the letters written by Swami 
Rama to Mrs. Pauline Whitman, her mother and 
her sister. Swami Rama in his own way used to call 
Mrs. Pauline Whitman, Kamalananda and her 
mother Champa. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 


15th September, 1903 

You are pure, faultless, and Holy of holies. No 
blame, no spot, no taint of worldliness, no fear, no 

If you never mind, you might put into verse the 
following thoughts. The attempt to do so will keep 
you on blessed heights. 

These are translated from a Persian poem that 
Rama wrote this morning. You might versify them 
while in Portland or Denver. Just suit yourself. 

You have every right to modify the ideas. 

1. Rage wild and surge and storm, O ocean of 
Ecstasy, and level down the Earth and heavens. 
Drown deep and shatter and scatter all thought 
and care. O! What have I to do with these? 

2. Come let us drink deep and deeper still O! Dead 
drunk, let us weed out the sense of division, pull 
down the walls of limited existence, and set at 

Kamalananda - Mrs. Pauline Wliitman 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

large That Unveiled Bliss. 

3. Come, madness Divine, quick, look sharp, alack 
the delay! My mind is weary of the flesh, O! Let the 
mind sink, sink in Thee; spare it prompt, from the 
consuming oven. 

4. Set on fire the meum and tuum; cast to the four 
winds all fear and hope; climate differentiation; let 
the head be not distinguished from the foot. 

5. Give me no bread, give me no water, and give 
me no shelter or rest. Love's precious parching 
Thirst; O Thou alone art enough to atone the decay 
of millions of frames like this. 

The western sky doth seem to glow 
So beautiful bright; 
Is it the sun that makes it so? 
Surely it is Thy light. 

Your Own Self, 


Shasta Springs, 
July 22, 1903 



The Story Of Swami Rama 

Perhaps you would not like to be addressed that 
way. But whether you do or not, Rama feels 
inclined to call you by that name. In the language 
Hindustan every name has a remarkable 
significance and the name Champa (usually given 
to girls of noble and high families) literally means 
sweet-scented, full blown. 

This name naturally and spontaneously occurred 
to Rama just when the pen was handled to write 
this letter. It can be written — Champa or Chumpa. 
The other day a long letter was dictated to Kamala 
(Pauline) in answer to all your queries. Did you 
receive the letter from her? It contained also some 
recent poems of Rama, 


1. Vedantic Religion may be summed up in the 
single commandment: 

Keep yourself perfectly happy and at rest, no 
matter what happens - sickness, death, hunger, 
calumny, or anything. 

Be cheerful and at peace on the ground of your 
Godhood to which thou shalt ever be true, 

2. The world, its inmates, relations, and all are 
vanishing quantities if you please to assert the 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Majesty of your real Self. 

Inspect, observe and watch or do anything; but do 

all that in the light of your True Self, that is to say, 

forget not that your Self is above all that and 

beyond all want. 

You really require nothing. Why should you feel a 

desire for anything? Do your work with the grace 

of a Universal Ruler, for pleasure, fun, or mere 

amusement's sake. Never, never feel that you 

want anything. 

3. When you live these principles of Vedanta, 

spontaneously will the sweet aroma of Truth 

proceed in all directions from you. 

Before falling asleep — when the eyes begin to close 

— every night or noon make a firm resolve in your 

mind to find yourself an embodiment of Vedantic 

Truth on waking up. 

When you wake up, before doing anything else just 

bring to your mind vividly the determination 

dwelt upon before falling asleep. Whenever you 

can, just chant or hum to yourself OM. 

This way like a true, genuine Champa you will be 

shedding delicious fragrance and charming glory 

all around you all the time. 

Yourself as 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Pushkar, Ajmer District, 
February 22, 1905 


What a splendid weather where Rama is. Every 
day a New Year day and every night a Christmas 
night. The blue heavens are my cup and the 
sparkling light my wine. 

I am the light air in the hills, I pass and pass and 
pass. From the hills I creep down into the towns 
and cities — fresh and pervading through all the 
streets I pass. 

Him I touch and her I touch and you I touch — such 
is my playful amusement. 

I am the Light, lovingly I feed my children — the 
flowers and plants. I live in the eyes and hearts of 
tite beautiful and the strong. 

Stay with Me, then I pray; 

Dwell with Me through the day 

And through the night and where it is neither 

night or day, 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Dwell quietly. Pass, pass not any more. 

Thou canst not pass, 

I am too where thou art; 

I hold thee fast; 

Not by the yellow sands nor the blue deep. 

But in my heart, thy heart of hearts. 

By living in the Light of lights the way opens up of 
itself. The accurate working of details takes place 
spontaneously (like the opening of the closed 
petals of a rose-bud) when the genial light of 
Devotion and divine Wisdom shines free. 

It is hoped you received the January issue of The 
Thundering Dawn from Puran, Sutramandi, Lahore. 

Your Own Self, 

In the January issue your poems have been 
published under the name Kamala Nanda which is 
the full Swami name. 

When you send any fresh contributions, they will 
appear under the name 'Ohm' if you like. 

Love, Blessings, Joy, Peace to dear blessed Girja 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

and all. 

OM! OM!! OM!!! 

Pushkar, District Ajmer, India 

Joy! Joy! Joy! 
Peace! Blessings! Love! Joy! 


On the bank of a calm, clear, and deep, deep lake 
Rama lives. A long, even-sized, continuous hill lies 
stretched on one side, wearing a beautiful green 
shawl all over. Mango groves abound here. There 
are two little flower gardens m the house where 
Rama lives. Flights of gorgeous peacocks keep 
screaming from their metallic throats. Ducks are 
playfully swimming and diving in the lake. 
Narayan Swami (The beautiful young man of 
whom Rama may have spoken to you) is here 
helping Rama in copying his writings, etc. 

This is called the Earth's eye. The wooded hills and 
cliffs are its overhanging brows. It is a mirror 
which no stone can crack, whose quicksilver will 
never wear off, a mirror in which all impurity 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

presented to it sinks, swept and dusted by the 
Sun's hazy brush — this the Hght dust-cloth. 

This lake is one of the highest characters Rama has 
met; how well it preserves its purity! It has not 
acquired one wrinkle after-all its ripples. It is 
perennially young. 

Let such be our hearts. 

Here do — 

Birds hang and swing, green-robed and red. 
Or droop in curved lines dreamily. 
Rainbows revered from tree to tree; 
Or sing low hanging overhead. 
Sing soft as if they sing and sleep. 
Sing low like some distant waterfall. 
And take no note of us at all. 

Peace, Blessings, Love from Your Own Self, 


The two following letters were written by Swami 
Rama to Mrs. E. C. Campbell of Denver, Colorado, 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

an ardent disciple of his in America. 

Portland, Ore 


When people set their heart on anything and meet 
with obstacles, then do they get ruffled and upset. 
The cause of agitation and disturbance without 
exception is the tendency to resist the seeming Evil. 
Thus, don't you think Christ had his head level 
when he said, "Resist not Evil?" Keep yourself 
calm, and receive with good cheer whatever 
appears to be opposing the current of your 
desire. When we don't lose our balance and remain 
centred in Self, Rama has always seen through 
personal experience that the seeming evil turns 
into good. Don't you remember how those Rs. 10 
were sent to a Hindu student after a seeming evil? 
But by distemper and disguise we shut out upon 
ourselves the gate of all the blessings, noble 
thoughts and happy pieces of fortune that might be 
awaiting us. Overcome all evil and difficulties by a 
mind carrying the body and worldly life in the 
palm of its hand, in other words, by giving a mind 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

full of Love than which there is no higher force. 

Your Own Dear Self as 

Portland, Ore. 
OM! OM!! 


You are constantly remembered by Rama. 

You are so sincere, pure, noble, earnest, faithful, 
and very good! Are you not? 

1. To compare or contrast one person with 
another in the mind, 

2. To compare oneself with anybody else mentally, 

3. To compare the present with the past and brood 
over the memory of past mistakes, 

4. To dwell upon future plans and fear anything, 

5. To set our heart on anything but the one 
Supreme Reality, 

6. To depend on outward appearances and not to 
practically believe in the inner Harmony that rules 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

over everything, 

7. To Jump up to the conclusions from the words or 
seeming conduct of people and to rest thoroughly 
satisfied with faith in the Spiritual Law, 

8. To be led astray too far in conversation with the 
people — 

It is these that breed discontent in people's mind. 
Therefore shun these eight sources of trouble. OM! 

Your Own Noble Self as 

In the following letter which Swami Rama wrote to 
Shiv Gun a Acharya he gives the latter to 
understand in a gentle but firm manner that he 
(Swami Rama) had a far greater mission to fulfil 
than to seek a vainglorious and selfish personal 
advancement. A good commentary on the old text 
^'cucullus nonfadt monachum'\ 


Doctors say unless we feel appetite from within we 
should take no food, however delicious and 
wholesome it may be and however much our dear 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

friends and relatives might coax us to eat it. All 
that you have written is quite true. If I start at once 
there is a very-good opportunity of enjoying the 
company of both yourself and the worthy Prime 
Minister of Kishangarh State, and of being 
benefitted by your wise counsels. But my inner 
voice bids me, to wait, with the fore-boding that 
even better opportunities shall present themselves 
when I am fully equipped. Nothing daunted by my 
former failures — if failures they can be called — I 
have every hope that abundant success shall attend 
my future career. What I am doing here is exactly 
what must have been of our thought of friendly 
consultation at Kishangarh. We should, no doubt, 
be always on the alert to avail ourselves of 
favourable opportunities. But we should not be 
impatient either. Work is all that is wanted. In 
order that I may be able to inspire working power 
or energy into our country-men, I must start with a 
vast store of accumulated energy myself. Let the 
time come, you shall most certainly be with me. 

If I have not to go about making fuss about trifles 
but have to render some real and lasting service to 
the Motherland, and if I have to prove truly useful 
to our country, I feel I require a little more 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

preparation in order to make myself equal to the 
stupendous task. 

I am here making a thorough study of the Shastras 
and of the highest Western thought and am at the 
same time pursuing my own independent 
researches. I have not to spend my lifetime over 
this work. I shall soon be imparting or rather 
carrying into the business and bosom of humanity 
what I have been acquiring at the cost of incessant 
labour. I have the full conviction that I could if I 
would long since have caused a tremendous stir in 
the country but I have a conscience and for no 
personal glory, no gain, no threats, no imminent 
danger, not for fear of death even, shall I preach 
what I have not realised to be the Truth. 

If the Truth has any power — and certainly it is 
Infinite Power — the Rajas as well as the Sadhus, 
the nobility and the populace will all ultimately 
have to bow before and yield homage to the 
standard of Righteousness to be set by Rama Tirath 
Swami. I have an aptitude for this work, and I will 
be throwing away my powers through haste or 
impatience if I harness myself for a lesser work. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

I have to preach, else why did I fondly cherish that 
desire from my very childhood. I have to preach, 
else for what did I renounce my parents, wife, 
children, worldly position and bright prospects. 
Filled with the Divine fire I have to preach — 
boldly, fearlessly, even in the face of all sorts of 
persecution and opposition — what I am realising 

Thankfully I accept your advice of keeping the 

money for my future use. 

Regular exercise taken. Health good. Climate most 


Wishing you and the Baboo Sahib, 
Shanti! Shanti i Shanti! 


The following are some of his letters to Swami 
Narayan which were condensed for publication 
under the title "The Law of Life Eternal". After all, 
this writing is of a sad mind and was written after 
Swam Rama's return from America. This writing 
has not in it that joyous fragrance of his Japanese 
or American addresses. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Rama lays claim to no mission. The work is all 
God's. What have we to do with the examples and 
precedents of Buddha and others? Let our minds 
respond to the direct dictates of the Law. But even 
Buddha and Jesus were forsaken by all their 
friends and followers. Thus out of the seven years 
of the forest life, Buddha passed the last two years 
entirely alone and then came the effulgent Light, 
after which disciples began to flock to him and 
were welcomed. Be not influenced by the thoughts 
and opinions of well-meaning respectable advisers. 
If their thoughts had been at one with the Law, 
they might have created shiploads of Buddhas by 
this time. 

Slowly and resolutely as a fly cleans its legs of the 
honey in which it has been caught, so we must 
remove every particle of attachment to forms and 
personalities. One after another the connections 
must be cut, the ties must snap, till the final 
concession in the form of death crowns all 
unwilling renunciations. 

Mercilessly rolls on the wheel of Law. He who 
lives the Law, rides the Law. He who sets up his 
will against God's will (i.e., the Law) must be 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

crushed and suffer Promethean tortures. 

The Law is fire, it burns up all worldly 
attachments, it scorches the ignorant mind, yet it 
purifies and destroys all kinds of pestilential 
plague germs which attack the spirit. 

Religion is as universal and vitally connected with 
our being as the act of eating. The successful atheist 
knows not the process of his own digestion, as it 
were. The Law makes us religious at the bayonet's 
point. The Law flogs us up to wakefulness. There 
is no escape from the Law. The Law is real and all 
else is unreal. All forms and personalities are mere 
bubbles on the ocean of the Law. Reality has been 
defined as that which persists. Now, nothing in the 
world of forms, no relationships, no bodies, no 
organisations, no societies could ever persist so 
tenaciously as this Law of the Cross. 

Why do deluded, short-sighted creatures love 
appearances (personalities) more than the Ideal 
Law? Because through ignorance persons and 
other appearances seem to them persistent 
realities, and the Law an intangible evanescent 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Through hard knocks, and painful bumps, they 
may be saved if they happen to learn the lesson 
which Nature intends to teach, viz., that the cross, 
is the only Reality and all personalities and objects 
of affection are passing phantoms, merest 
shadows, fictitious ghosts. The apparent bitters 
and sweets, the seeming beauties and monstrosities 
are only masks put on by the Biharee Ji (the Playful 
One) to open our eyes to His Glory at last. 

When we believe in the forms of foes and friends 
as real, they deceive and betray us. But we make 
the matters still worse when we begin to retaliate 
and impute to them motives and evil natures. The 
first faithlessness on their part was due to our 
assigning through love that reality to them, which 
belongs to God alone. Now that we resent, we 
intensify our previous error through hatred 
assigning still greater reality to their forms and 
thus invite more pain. Beware! This (Perfect 
Renunciation, Siva) is the ultimate purpose in life. 
It is a living reality, something more concrete than 
stones, and well might it be represented by some 
Lingam. It strikes harder than stones to correct the 
forgetful mind. To remember it perpetually is of 
vital necessity. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Muhammadans and Christians are not wrong in 
calling this Law or God, Ghayyar (jealous) and 
Qahhar (Terrible). Indeed, it is no respecter of 
persons. Let any one set his heart on anything 
whatever of this world, and the wrath of Nature 
must perforce be visited upon him. If people are 
slow in learning this Truth, it is because they have 
little power of correct observation; they usually, in 
matters concerning their own personality, do not 
like to see the cause in the phenomenon itself and 
they would readily blame others for their own 
faults and know not to retrospect as a disinterested 
witness their own moods of passion and feeling 
and the consequences these entail. Betrayed we 
must be when we trust the forms, or when in our 
heart of hearts we give that honour to false things 
and personalities which is due only to the One 
Reality, i.e., when we let idols sit on the throne of 
our hearts instead of God. The method of 
agreement and difference establishes the Law of 
the Unsubstantiality of Not-God, knowing no 

How often are we not the cause of perfect 
gentlemen no longer remaining as good as their 
word, by setting our heart on their promises, and 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

believing in them more than in God? How often do 
we not bring about the death or ruin of our 
children by the Law-forgetting love for their bodies 
(forms)? How often do we not make friends 
faithless by depending on them and placing in 
their persons that innermost faith which is due to 
God alone — i.e.. The Jealous Law? How often do 
we not bring living Gurus down from their 
spiritual heights by making them trust in us and 
our faith in them, whereas the Law must make us 
deny them even more than "three times before the 
cock crows"? How often is not our heart- 
dependence on wives the cause of domestic strifes 
and of far worse scenes? Take anything more 
serious than God, and Divine Love must stab you 
with a piercing glance. 

To talk of no unworthy loves, let us take the case oi 
the Gopikas who set their hearts on the fascinating 
form of God-Incarnate, and yet they had to shed 
bitter tears oi blood for their mistake. That 
embodiment of chaste affection, Sita, believed in 
the reality of the form glorious of Divine Rama yet 
she, O even she! had to pay for the error in being 
driven into the hissing forests by the Jealous 
formless Rama or the Real Rama, her Master, the 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Lord of each and all. 

It is true Muhammad has been misunderstood an< 
often wrongly followed, but anyone who sees the 
Truth must reverently bow before the idea, 
although only one-sided, of putting an immediate 
end (by the sword) to the lingering, chronic 
tortures of those who are dying by inches through 
practical non-belief in the only Truth. ''There is no 
Reality but God". Christ teaches practically the 
same lesson, Buddha the same, and, of course, 
every one of our own Rishis in one form or another 
preaches the same thing. But what of that, their 
preachings and teachings could never have 
survived if they had not found hearty response in 
the private experiences of those who heard them, 
and if they had not been borne out, verified, and 
time and again re-discovered by the truthful, 
sincere devotees of the Light in all ages. 

The Law of Renunciation is a stern Reality. No 
flimsy phantom this! Nations could not be all 
deluded and carried away by the mere chimerical 
hallucinations of prophets and leaders. Centuries 
and centuries could not be run away with by the 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

mere fancy of poor cranks. 

People not knowing the real cause of their miseries, 
which is falling out of tune with the Law, begin to 
fall foul of the outside symptoms of their malady, 
i.e. the apparent circumstances. 

Let the good or bad talk or conduct of people be 
washed out of consciousness even as misty dreams 
are consigned to oblivion. Dreams may be 
nightmares or sweet dreams, we do not try to 
adjust them or quarrel with them; but rather our 
own stomach it is that is straitened. So good or bad 
folks that meet us ought to be entirely ignored, and 
our spiritual condition improved. Let not any 
seeming evil or luck stand between thee and God. 
There are no insults immense enough to satisfy me 
in the act of forgiving them. 

Let nothing be prized higher than God, nothing 
valued equally with God. Compliments, criticisms 
and diseases are equally fatal if we regard the Self 
as subject to them. Feel yourself God and sing 
songs of joy in God-head. Look upon compliments 
and criticisms even as Rama looks upon physical 
ailments merely as footmen from God's Durbar 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

who with all the authority of the supreme 
Government say — "Get out of this house, i.e. body- 
consciousness, at once!" They obey me when I 
occupy the Durbar throne; they whip and stab me 
when I enter into this hovel — the body- 

Even Governments whose so-called Laws do not 
conform to the divine Law of the Trishul (or the 
cross work their own destruction. Shylock-like 
laying stress on personal rights, thinking this or 
that mine, feeling a sense of possession, saying 
"the law grants it" is to contradict the real Law 
according to which the only haq (right, 
prerogative) we have, is Haq (God) and every 
other right is wrong. If nobody else recognises this 
principle the Sanyasin at any rate ought to work it 
into life. 

The Law is all pervasive, it is the higher Self of 
each and all, and it is Rama in this sense. Yet it 
must kick out and kill out the personal self. It is 
cruel but its cruelty is the quintessence of love, 
because in this very-death of the apparent self 
consists resurrection of the real Self and life eternal. 
He who keeps the false self and claims for it the 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

prerogatives of the King-Self, must as it were, be 
devoured by vultures on the height of vanity. The 
freedom of Vedanta is not immunity from Law for 
the limited local self, i.e., personality and body. 
This is turning GOD into the very reverse. Millions 
of beings perish every hour through this mistake. 
Thousands of heads are sinking into pessimism, 
and hundreds of thousands of hearts are breaking 
every minute, by the foolish reversal of the order of 
the Law. Freedom from Law is secured by 
becoming the Law, that is, the realisation of 

That dupe of the senses who counts what are called 
facts and figures, and rests on the foundation of 
forms, builds on the foam and sinks. He builds on 
the rock in whose heart of hearts. 

God is Real, the world unreal 
And the Law a living force. 

In Vedic days, on certain occasions, unmarried 
girls assembled round the Fire with folded hands, 
turned round the blazing one and sang this song: 
''Let us be absorbed in the worship of the Fragrant 
One, the All-seeing One, the Husband-knowing 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

One. As a seed from the husk, so may we be freed 
from bondage here (the parents' house), but never, 
never from there (the husband's home)". 

That prayer of the ancient Aryan maidens is 
springing deep from the very bottom of Rama's 
heart, and tears, O! Tears are pouring madly along 
with it. 

O God! O Law! O Truth! Let this head and heart be 
instantaneously rent asunder, if any other 
connection lodges there but Thee. Let this blood be 
curdled immediately, if any other idea flows in the 
arteries and veins along with it but Thee. Another 

"As a woman of a man, so shall I learn of Thee, I 
shall draw Thee closer and closer, I will drain Thy 
lips and the secret juices of Thy body, I will 
conceive of Thee, O Law! O Liberty!" 

Is not Rama married to the Trishul, married to 

Truth and Law, that other attachments and other 

connections are still expected of him as of a harlot? 

"I own no other as my King but He the Beloved 

Krishna." —Mira Bai. 


People hesitate to love God, because they think 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

they receive no response from Him as in the case of 
fictitious worldly objects of love. It is foolish 
ignorance that thus deludes them. O Dear! His 
breast instantaneously, nay, simultaneously heaves 
with my breast in responsive impulse. 

Look not in apparent friends and foes for the cause 
of their conduct. The real causation rests with your 
real self alone. Look out! 

As a little bird just learning to fly, leaving one 
stone or twig, perches on another similar support, 
then on another and another, but cannot leave 
entirely those ground objects and soar into the 
higher air, so a novice in Brahmajnana while 
disengaging his heart from one thing or disgusted 
with a particular person, immediately rests on 
something else, then clings to another similar 
delusion, does not give up dependence on frail 
reed or straw, and quits not in his heart the whole 
earth. An experienced Jnani would turn the 
apparent faithlessness of one earthly object into a 
stepping stone for a leap into the Infinite. The art of 
religion consists in making every little bit of 
experience an occasion for a leap into the Infinite. 
The seeming things being all of a piece, while 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

giving up one thing outwardly he makes it a sign 
and a symbol for renouncing all inwardly. 

Deplorably dense must he be who does not 
recognise the piercing Truth that Death of the 
selfish personality alone is the Law of life. The 
Trishul shakes off personalities. The shaking off of 
personalities is the Resurrection of Life Eternal. 
Live ye for ever! Farewell. 

Here are a few letters that he wrote from time to 
time to various people while touring in India. 

18th October, 1905. 

Great Heart, 

Ashes smeared to the hands wash clean the skin. 

So, thrice blessed are physical ailments, when they 
rub away along with themselves the skin- 

Tills letter was written by Swaml Rama to the author 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

O welcome illness and pain! 

So long as the dead carcass is left in the house, 
there is every danger of all kinds of pests; when the 
corpse is removed, health reigns supreme. Just so, 
as long as body-consciousness is cherished, we 
invite every malady in the world. Burn away the 
body and its bearings, and immediately we enjoy 
unrivalled Sovereignty. 

Hurrah I Hurrah! 

No jealousy, no fear; 

I'm the dearest of the dear. 

No sin, no sorrow; 

No past, no morrow. 

The learned Mahatmas with hair-splitting heads 

and prominent bellies. 

The spectacled Professors astonishing the innocent 

students in the Laboratory or the observatory. 

The bare-headed orators striking dumb their 

audience from their pulpits or platforms. 

Even the poor rich full of complaints of one kind or 

another — 

All these I am. 

The heavens and stars. 

Worlds near and far, 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Are hung and strung. 

On the tunes I sung; 

No rival no foe! 

No injury, no woe! 

No, nothing could harm me. 

No, nothing alarm me. 

The soul of the Nectar-fall, 

The Sweetest Self, 

Yea I health itself. 

The prattling streams. 

The happiest dreams. 

All myrrh and balm, 

Raman and Ram, 

So pure, so calm. 

Am I, am I. 


Joy! Blessings! Peace! Love! 

(Darjeeling side), 
30th August, 1905 


^' Addressed to Mrs. Wliitman 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

For three months Rama was on the summit of a 
mountain (about 8,000 ft.) opposite the world's 
highest mountain, viz., Mt. Everest. Day after to- 
morrow will go down to the plains. Five books 
have been written here and twenty books read. 

Rama's mind is brimful of joy and peace. 

The world has as it were entirely vanished from 
the mind. 

God, God alone 
Within, without 
Far and near! 

O Joy! Thrilling peace! 
Undulating Bliss! 
What a heaven! 
Peace! Blessings! Love! 

Health spiritual, mental and physical, and all that 
is good to Girija, Champa, and others dear to you. 

Peace immortal falls as rain drops. 
Nectar is dropping in musical rain. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Drizzle! Drizzle! Drizzle! 
My clouds of glory, they march so gaily! 
The worlds as diamonds drop from them. 
Drizzle! Drizzle! Drizzle! 

My breezes of Law blow rhythmical, rhythmical. 
Lo! Nations fall like petals, leaves. 
Drizzle! Drizzle! Drizzle! 

My balmy breath, the breeze of Law, 
Blows beautiful! beautiful! 
Some objects swing and sway like twigs. 
And others like the dewdrops fall. 
Drizzle! Drizzle! Drizzle! 

My graceful light, a sea of white. 

An ocean of milk, it undulates. 

It ripples softly, softly, softly; 

And then it beats out worlds of spray! 

I shower forth the stars as spray! 

Drizzle! Drizzle! Drizzle! 


OM! OM! OM! 

Peace! Blessings! Love! Joy! Joy! 

(Darjeeling side), 


The Story Of Swami Rama 


Perhaps you know already Rama is in the hills 
about a thousand miles from Mussorie. Rama lives 
all alone in an old house belonging to the Bengal 
Forest authorities. Away from the railway line, 
removed from the Post Office, beyond reach of 
visitors and callers, surrounded by a scenery 
among the richest in the world, with beautiful rills, 
and a spring running at short distance from it, and 
when the weather is fair, commanding a distant 
view of the world's highest mountain, Mt. Everest. 
Even here fresh milk is brought to Rama by the 
mountaineers living in the woods. Walks in the 
woods and study fill up Rama's time. 

What are name, fame, ambitions, wealth, 
achievements and all when ''man in the woods 
with God may meet?" Why should we catch and 
cherish the fever of doing? 

Let us be divine. The morning breeze blows and is 
not anxious how many and what sort of flowers 
bloom. It simply blows on everything and those 
buds that are full ripe to sprout, open their eyes. 

^^ Addressed to Mrs. Wellman 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

The dens of lions, the burning jungles, the dingy 
dungeons, the earthquake shocks, the falling rocks, 
the storms, battlefields and the gaping graves, if 
accompanied by God-consciousness in us, are far 
sweeter than pomp, honour, glory, thrones, 
luxuries, retinue and all, when with these a man is 
not himself, in inner solitude one with the One 
without a second Oh! the joy of the finished 
purpose, light steps going about making every step 
our goal, every night the bodily death and every 
day our new life. 

Farewell, friends, and part. 

The mansion-universe is too small, 

I and my love alone will play. 

Oh! The joys of swimming together! 

Together? No. 

The joy of swimmers dissolved rolling as the 


Joy! Joy! 

Your Own Self, OM 


The Story Of Swami Rama 



Vashishtha Ashram, 
27th March, 1906 

Peace Hke a river is flowing to me. 
Peace as the breezes is blowing to me. 
Peace Hke the Ganges flows — 
It flows from all my hair and toes. 
Let surging waves of oceans of peace 
Leave all the hearts and heads and feet! 
OM Joy! OM Bliss! OM Peace! 

This Ashram is above the snowline. A beautiful 
stream, called Vashishtha Ganga flows just below 
Rama's cave. There are five or six waterfalls in the 
stream. Natural basins are carved out of the hard 
rocks in the river valley by Shiva's own hands, 
forming about twenty lovely little tanks. The hills 
are covered with those true, light-loving, hardy 
giants of the forest whose green does not fade even 
when more than six feet of snow accumulates 
about them. They are certainly worthy of the great 
Vanmali's (Krishna's) kindness and love. 

^^ Letter addressed to Rai Sahib Baij Nath 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

These oak-hearted, green-shouldered children of 
Mahadev are the only companions of Rama. Even 
Narayan Swami was sent away to the plains not to 
visit Rama again before at least two years. A young 
man comes every day, cooks food, and leaves to 
spend the night in some adjoining village — the 
nearest village being over three miles distant. 

Half-a-mile walk up the hill takes Rama to the top 
of this mountain (Basun) where the sacred glaciers 
of Kedar, Badri, Sumeroo, Gangotri, Jamnotri, and 
Kailas are within sight. 

The spot is described at length in the Kedar Khand. 
Such was the place selected for Ashrampada by the 
author of Yoga Vashishtha. Happily, no town or 
road is near here yet. Ask not about the ecstasy of 
Rama. The overflowing rapturous peace will be 
revealed by Rama's chief work which will go down 
to the plains for publication some years hence.' Let 
none visit Rama till then, please . . . 

God is the only reality. 

Here follows an Urdu poem which translated runs 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

If during the night, 

I saw not the Beloved, 

Of what use to me is the Hght of my eyes. 

The dead is lying in his grave then. 

Of what meaning is the green grass planted on his 


What matters what people say about me, good or 


When I have risen above my body, I have no 

concern with the favours and frowns! 

Virtue and Vice, good and evil both were to me the 

rungs of the Ladder to Him, 

Burn the ladder now, I do not desire to come down 

from here. 

The blind of heart love aught but God, 

In the Mecca of heart to have another. 

What need I have of fealty to another. 

world! I have given unto thee what was thine 
Now, go! I have no need of thee, not even a distant 

1 dance with God, 

I have no need of modesty or restraint! 

Vain is life (other than of absorption in God); be 
not the worm of the grave. This body is a grave, 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

this self is superstition, blow them up, pray! 

Your Prayag Kumbh lecture was just masterly. One 
copy was presented by Rama to the Maharaj of 
Tehri. Dear, listen, Vedanta is no cant, and this 
world is naught. He perishes who feels it to be real. 
God is the only reality. Yes, yes, yes, yes, OM. 


(Copy of letter sent to Rai Bahadur Baij Nath) 


Vashishtha Ashram, 
End of June, 1906 

When viewed from the standpoint of God-Self, the 
whole world becomes an effusion of beauty, an 
expression of joy, out-pouring of bliss. When 
limitation of vision is overcome, there remains 
nothing ugly for us. "The whole world is Fair and 
Beautiful" The powers of nature become actually 
our hands and feet or other senses. 

As Self is Ananda and is the All, therefore Self- 
realisation means Realisation of my own Self as 
Supreme Bliss crystallised into the whole world. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

The Universe, being an embodiment of my own 
Self, is sweetness incarnate. What shall I blame? 
What shall I criticise? 

OJoy! It is all I. OM. 

The spiritual Law about privations and success, 
how beautiful the Veda enunciates it: Let anybody 
in his heart of heart believe in anything whatsoever 
as real - i.e., fit object of trust— and inevitably he 
must be forsaken or betrayed by that object. This is 
a law more stern than the Law of Gravitation. The 
only Reality Atman brings home to us the delusion 
of seeing anything else as real. 

No wonder at the gate 
Can keep the Gnani in; 
But like the Sun o'er all 
He will the castle win. 
And shine along the wall 
He waits, as waits the sky. 
Until the clouds go by. 
Yet shines serenely on 
With an eternal day. 
Alike when they are gone. 
And when they stay 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

So long as any sort of desire clings to a person, he 
cannot realise bliss. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 



AFTER his return from America, he spoke and 
wrote constantly, till the very day of his sudden 
death, on the Indian problems of all kinds — 
religious, social and political — and inspired his 
countrymen with a new outlook on their duties as 
citizens of India. In fact, he expanded his ideas on 
"The Secret of Success"24 into many books. 

Of all philosophic systems in the world, that of 
Vedanta as Swami Rama, or before him, Swami 
Vivekananda preached it, leads in its full 
realisation, more to internationalism, than to 
nationalism, for nationalism is only an expanded 
personal love or attachment for the land we live in. 
This springs from a deep-laden hunger in man for 
a good, honest life of activity and not of trance or 

^^ A lecture ivhich is reproduced in this hook for easy reference, as 
it contains some of his fundamental ideas, expressed in the shy, 
virgin English of a Punjabi graduate who had just acquired it. Its 
simple diction is fragrant and forceful. (See pp. 130 - 138 ante.) 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

of the trans-senses. But the genius of Swami 
Vivekananda and of Swami Rama did quite 
successfully cast the philosophy under the name of 
"Practical Vedanta" or "Applied Vedanta" into a 
veritable gospel of patriotism. And though a 
philosophy of patriotism has been successfully 
constructed out of the old materials, yet it falls flat 
on the dreamy Indian people, and this Vedanta 
fails to inspire them for the uplift of India on those 
grounds, however true they may be in their 
theoretical bearings. Better than these two 
geniuses, the gospel of National duty so brilliantly 
extracted out of Krishna's Bhagavad-Gita by the 
late Lokamanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak and also by 
Aurobindo Ghosh is calculated to provide a real 
philosophic basis to the thinking Indians for 
changing their creed of Other-worldliness into 
This- worldliness . 

But nothing avails. Patriotism or the affectionate 
attachment for one's property in the shape of his 
country cannot be generated by any 
philosophising. It comes naturally; it cannot be 
forced in by thinking. In certain climes and under 
the driving force of certain traditions, it is as 
natural a feeling in the human breast, as the love of 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

a brother for his sister. The passionate love of 
woman, the chivalrous spirit of protecting her and 
the home which consists of the woman and the 
child, even at the cost of life, the love of death in 
times of an invader's invasion of the aggregate of 
these homes — called one's country— the complete 
and perfect refusal to accept the life of slavery, to 
meet death and downfall rather than loss of liberty 
and love, in short, infinite worship of woman, land 
and life as it is, as we find it, and as we live it as 
good, well-behaved gentle animals — such are the 
elements in human consciousness which go to 
make up the healthy feeling of patriotism. For 
monks to get up and preach patriotism, without 
the passionate love for a sweet home, without the 
deep attachment to woman as mother and 
sweetheart and without the spirit of sacrifice for 
her sake both in labour and in love, in peace and in 
war, how can healthy love for the country be ever 
produced, in spite of a thousand interpretations of 
the philosophy of Karma by Vivekananda, Rama, 
Aurobindo and Tilak. 

In India, for centuries, there has been an element of 
disgust in the Indian consciousness for woman as 
she is supposed to retard the spiritual progress of 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

an individual soul, and the life of the forests away 
from her is considered, however erroneously, to be 
more conducive to the culture of Yoga, 
concentration and Samadhi. Even Aurobindo 
gives up his girl-bride finally for what the Indian 
genius fancifully calls "Yoga," which, as far as we 
know, has been of little use to India herself. The 
total disappearance of a typical Yogi from this 
benighted country, as painted in Patanjali's Yoga 
Sutras, and the resulting self-degradation of the 
very quality of the Indian mind due to the morbid 
practices of Yoga, is, in itself, an illustration of 
India's inability to keep to Patanjali's type. 
Where, from times immemorial, a morbid 
emphasis is laid on the mortification of the senses, 
and the noble attachment with one's land and 
bullock and kine — a veritable poetic passion with 
the composers of the Vedas — has been declared to 
be a form of Avidya, ignorance, where lifeless 
intellectual subtlety is worshipped, where life in its 
simple and beautiful vitality of the senses is forever 
condemned and belittled in the eyes of these 
workless, taskless, unfortunate dwellers of India, 
the task taken up by the two Swamis, and the 
torturing of the texts into the meanings of Karma 
and Dharma, into the foolish philosophy of duty of 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

the West, almost taken out of its great spiritual 
setting in the old Hindu scriptures, is truly neither 
here nor there. 

A happy home cannot spring from such great 
minds as that of Yagnavalkya who marries more 
than one wife and getting disgusted of home life 
seeks the forests towards the last part of his earthly 
life, as if the forests are really more conducive to 
the Divine than a really happy, God-balanced 
human home and its sympathetic life in its 
simplicity of labour and love. One can understand 
and worship the renunciation of Buddha, but one 
fails to see how his life-lessons can be to show that 
Renunciation means expansion of one's love for his 
own little family, into that of his country and then 
of the world. Are feelings and then personal 
feelings so elastic, that by blowing the air of 
thought into them, we can become selfish lovers of 
our families and with a little more effort become 
the unselfish lovers of our country as one family 
and with a little more, still more unselfish lovers of 
the whole world. Such exhortations are abortive. It 
is the development of life itself, and it takes aeons 
to generate a true feeling in a nation. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

The charm, however, of this new turn given by 
these two briUiant monks to the Philosophy of the 
Upanishads, was felt, and a forward intellectual 
impetus was given to many an Indian who takes 
life always and everywhere in a metaphysical 

In this connection, the Swami Rama's famous 
articles on "Criticism and Universal Love," "The 
Spirit of Yajna," "To the Young men of India," "The 
Stamped Deed of Progress" ''The Cash Religion or 
Nagd Dharma," and other sundry writings put 
together and the Essays in English published by 
Ganesh & Co, of Madras, and others by Swami 
Narayana, form a thought-provoking contribution 
to the nation-building literature of modern India. 
And there is a colour of ecstasy in these words. 
Mark when he tells them to think themselves as 

He again writes: 

The land of India is my own body. The Comorin is my 
feet, the Himalayas my head. From my hair flows the 
Ganges, from my head come the Brahmaputra and the 
Indus. The Vindhyachalas are girt round my loins. The 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Coromandel is my left and the Malabar my right leg. I 
am the whole of India, and its east and west are my 
arms, and I spread them in a straight line to embrace 
humanity. I am universal in my lave. Ah! Such is the 
posture of my body. It is standing and gazing at infinite 
space; but my inner spirit is the soul of all. When I walk, 
I feel it is India walking. When I speak, I feel it is India 
speaking. When I breathe, I feel it is India breathing. I 
am India, I am Shankara, I am Shiva. This is the highest 
realisation of patriotism, and this is Practical Vedanta. 

O Setting Sun, Thou art going to rise in India. Wilt 
Thou please carry this message of Rama to that land of 
glory? May these tear drops of love be the morning be in 
the fields of India! As a Shaiva worships Shiva, a 
Vaishnava Vishnu, a Buddhist Buddha, a Christian 
Christ, a Muhammadan Mohamad, with a heart turned 
into a "Burning Bush" I see and worship India in the 
form of a Shaiva, Vaishnava, Buddhist, Christian, 
Muhammadan, Parsi, Sikh, Sanyasi, Pariah or any of 
Her children. I adore Thee in all Thy manifestations. 
Mother India, my Gangaji, my Kali, my Isht Deva, my 
Shalagram. While talking about worship, says the God 
who loved to eat the very clay of India : ''The difficulty 
of those whose minds are set on the unmanifested is 
greater ; for the path of the unmanifested is hard for the 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

embodied to reach/' Well, alright, Sweet Krishna, let 

mine be the path of adoration of that manifestation 

divine of whom it is said: "All his household property 

consists of a jaded ox, one side of a broken bedstead, an 

old hatchet, ashes, snakes, and an empty skull". . . Mere 

lukewarm approbation or toleration won't do. I want 

active co-operation from every child of India to spread 

this dynamic spirit of Nationality. A child can never 

reach youth except he pass through boyhood. A person 

can never realise his unity with God, the All, except 

when unity with the whole nation throbs in every fibre 

of his frame. Let every son of India stand for service of 

the whole, seeing that the whole of India is embodied in 

every son. Almost every town, stream, tree, stone, and 

animal is personified and sanctified in India. Is it not 

high time now to deify the entire Motherland and every 

partial manifestation inspire us with devotion to the 

whole? Through Prana Prathistha, Hindus endow with 

flesh and blood the effigy ofDurga. Is it not worthwhile 

to call forth the inherent glory and evoke fire and life in 

the more real Durga of Mother India? Let us put our 

hearts together, the heads and hands will naturally 



To realise God, have the Sanyasa spirit, i.e., entire 
renunciation of self-interest, making the little self 
absolutely at one with the great self of Mother India. To 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

realise God or Bliss, have the Brahmin spirit dedicating 
your intellect to thoughts for the advancement of the 
nation. To realise Bliss, you have to possess the 
Kshatriya spirit, readiness to lay down your life for the 
country at every second. To realise God, you must have 
true Vaishya spirit, holding your property only in trust 
for the nation. But to realise Bliss and Rama in That 
world or This, and to give a living concrete objective 
reality to your abstract subjective Dharma, you have to 
work this Sanyasa spirit. Brahmin, Kshatriya and 
Vaishya heroism through your hands and feet in the 
manual labour once relegated to the holy Sudras. The 
Sanyasi spirit must be wedded to the Pariah hands. This 
is the only way to-day. Wake up, wake up! 

Even the foreign countries through their practice teach 
to-day this Dharma to our India, the only Brahman land 
in the world. 

When a Japanese youth refuses enlistment in the army 
on the ground of his obligations to his mother (domestic 
Dharma), the mother commits suicide, sacrifices the 
lower (domestic) Dharma for the higher (national) 

What heroic deeds could compare with the sacrifice of 
personal, domestic and social Dharma for the sake of the 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

National Dharma on the part of that Ideal Guru of 
Glory, Gobind Singh ? 

People hanker after power. What an infinite power can 

you not find at your command when your Self stands in 

unity with the Self of the whole Nation? In conclusion, 

let me illustrate this spirit in the beautiful words of the 

Prophet of Islam: 

''If the Sun stand on my right hand and the moon on my 

left, ordering me to return back, I could not obey. " OMl 


* * * * * 

... The B.A. or M.A. Degrees you receive from the 
University; but between being a coward and a hero you 
have to choose yourselves. Say, which position is your 
choice? That of an abject slave or the prince of life? 
Strong and pure life is the lever of History, Newton's 
second Law of Motion characterises Force as effecting a 
change in the motion of the body on which it acts. For 
centuries and centuries, unnatural antipathies and 
worse still apathies have been running uniformly on the 
tracks of custom and superstition in our land. It is for 
you, youths of culture and character, to be the living 
force to change the wasteful momentums now no longer 
required. Overcome the old inertia, turn the direction of 
motion where needed, add to the acceleration where 
necessary, after the moving mass where advisable. Work 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

on, work on. Mould and adapt the Past to the Present 
and boldly launch your pure and strong Present in the 
race of the Future. 

Xr * * * * 

. . .An average Indian home is typical of the state of the 
whole nation; very slender means and not only 
multiplying mouths to feed hut also slavishly to incur 
undue expenses in meaningless and cruel ceremonies! 
Even animals in the same stable must fight to death 
with each other when the fodder suffices for one or two 
only and their number is legion. Not to remove the bone 
of contention and preach peace to the people is mockery 
of preaching. My countrymen are meek and peaceful at 
heart. The heart is willing no doubt, but how can they 
help jealousies and selfishness when the weakness of the 
flesh is forced upon them by the necessity of the case. If 
the population problem is to be left unsolved, all talk 
about national unity and mutual amity will remain a 
Utopian chimera. We have to solve the riddle of this 
Sphinx or we die. Sympathy and selfishness, according 
to biological principles, cannot grow under such general 
social environments where pain and suffering is daily 
displayed by our associates. With such populous poverty 
around you, Indians, it is hoping against hope to 
develop sympathy and love. Students of physics know 
that a mass of matter, of whatever kind, maintains its 
internal equilibrium so long as its component particles 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

severally stand toward their neighbours in equidistant 
positions, so that each molecule may perform its 
rhythmic movement without disturbing those around. 
Now, what about the mass of India? Can its individual 
units perform their rhythmic movements without 
clashing with others, have they scope enough for free 
natural movement? If for one that eats, ten must starve, 
you have to take immediate measures to make the 
national equilibrium more secure. Otherwise, the only 
hope for India lies in the grim caresses of wild Nature, 
which for extreme cases like ours, have been enumerated 
by the Maharishi Vashishthaji as Pestilence, Famine, 
Destructive war, and Earthquakes! Enough now of the 

There was a time for Aryan colonists in India when it 
was a blessing to have large progeny. But those times 
are gone, the tables are turned, and in view of the over- 
crowded population, it has become a curse to have a 
large family... Let us sweep out from the country the 
most pernicious principle which has practically been 
swaying us so long: Marry, multiply in ignorance, live, 
and in bondage die.. . 

Young men, stop it! Stop it! Ye youths, responsible for 
the future of India, stop it. In the name of morality, in 
the name of India, for your own sakes and for the sake of 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

your descendants, pray stop indiscriminate, ill-timed, 

blind marriages in the country. That will purify the 

people and solve to some extent the population problem. 

Reviewing the past History of India we find, as in the 
case of any other country, the ultimate internal cause of 
Indians night to be no other than Exclusivism, ''How 
glorious is the broad daylight in this room (India)! Oh! 
It is mine — mine! Let it belong to me alone. " So saying, 
we practically pulled down the curtains, shut the doors, 
closed the windows; and in the very attempt to 
monopolise the light ofind created darkness. God is no 
respecter of persons, nor is fortune geographical, ... 

In short, Yajna implies realising in active practice my 
neighbour to be my own self, feeling myself as one or 
identical with all, losing my little self to become the self 
of all. This is the crucifixion of selfishness and this is 
resurrection of the All Self. One aspect of it is usually 
styled Bhakti and the other is called Jnana. 

O ALL (OM!) - 

Take my life and let it be 
Humbly offered. All, to Thee. 
Take my hands and let them be 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Working, serving Thee, yea! Thee. 
Take my heart and let it he 
Full saturated. Lord, with Thee. 
Take my eyes and let them he 
Intoxicated, God, with Thee, 
Take this mind and let it he 
All day long a shrine for Thee 

This dedication heing thoroughly accomplished, one 
realises the hlissful significance of Tat-tvam-asi (That 
Thou art). 

Through the arched door 

Of eyehrows I pour. 

And sit in the heaven of heart 

There well do I ride 

In glory, and guide. 

And no one can leave me and part. 

Merry wedlock, union. 

On earth or in heaven. 

Is a dim foreshadowing symhol 

Of my perfect emhrace 

Of the whole human race. 

And my clasp so firm and nimhle. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

As the golden lance, 

Of the sun's sharp glance, 

I pierce the hearts of flowers. 

As the silvery ray. 

Of the full moon gay, 

I hook up the sea to my bowers. 

O Lightning! O Light! 

O thought, quick and bright! 

Come, let us run a race. 

Avaunt! Avaunt! Fly! Fly! 

But you can't With me even keep pace. 

O Earth and Waters, 
My sons and daughters! 
O Flora and fauna! 
All limitations flinging 
Break forth into singing 
Hosanna! Hosanna! 
OM! OM! OM! 


The Story Of Swami Rama 



IN his early writings in Aliph, we do find a passion 
concealed in his reverie for the uplift of his country 
from slave-mentality, by his method of self- 
realisation of that supreme ecstatic state of 
inspiration, and most probably, this passion 
suddenly crept into his consciousness by his 
personal contact with Swami Vivekananda at 
Lahore, as his whole mind from the early 
beginnings of his life was developing towards 
Transcendentalism steeped in the lyrical, 
passionate poetry of Persia and the Punjab, which 
he had modified as a practical religion for himself 
to live by, by the influence of the English literature 
both on Art and Science, for right in the middle of 
his reverie, we find him suddenly and almost 
irrelevantly thinking of liberty of his mother 
country India! He hated slavery of man, bethought 
it is God in him that is trodden thus under foot. He 
considered it the greatest crime and in Aliph it is 
this pure passion that we find in the form of a 
subtle kind of suggestion for Indians to uplift 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

We have then seen how he worked for India in the 
United States of America, condemning both the 
exploiting nature of British rule as in his speech — 
"Appeal to Americans," — and the caste system 
in other speeches, in which he made strong appeals 
for its abolition by American help. It is strange, that 
in America, the chief plank of his programme was 
the abolition of caste system, and on his return to 
India, the chief theme became not "Untouchability" 
or the raising of the depressed classes, but the 
philosophy of the nation-building and patriotism 
and co-ordinating the different forces at work in 
the task of nation-building. As he told me, it was V. 
G. Joshi of Poona who drove Rama to appeal for 
India and work for India, in America. Similarly, it 
was the missionary American consciousness 
against the Indian caste system, that drove him to 
speak against caste as an unmitigated evil 
responsible for the enslavement of a whole 
country, for, to a man with nationalism as his 
profession, the slums of America and Europe give 
food for thought, and after all, caste-ridden India 
had not at any time in its history produced the 
misery of the slums, though unfortunately the 
very slums are also artificially being created now 
by the incoming tyranny of the factory life. Even 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

men like Pratap Chandra Muzumdar had put in a 
defence for the caste system in America, while they 
came and condemned it in their own country. 

On his return, we find him taking up the educated 
Indian and correcting his outlook on national 
questions, and trying to create a literature for the 
union of various men and groups of men, their 
sects and schisms in the love of their country. 
Strange but true, he talked so beautifully on 
married life in America, and took up the stale 
subjects of Brahmacharya or celibacy again when 
he returned to India. The old century-long 
preaching of the philosophy of Atman in one form 
or another, succeeded in taking out all springs of 
action and love and labour from the Indian mind, 
and, at best, made it a store-house of empty rattles 
of metaphysical terms and phrases, intermingled 
here and thereby the morbid sentimentalism of 
human emotion in reaction against this 
intellectual dryness. Where sitting like a 
bankrupted banker, the Indian does but count 
again and again his empty ledger pages and hear 
their empty rustle, to such as he patriotism is 
taught now again as a religion! Religion is a 
torment for this slave of India, for he neither can 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

give it up nor understand it. Art, handicraft, 
creative labour, silent work, the task of life is not 
given him, only talk, discussion, intellectual 
differences, slavery and death. They say the .alien 
rule has been the cause of the nation's downfall, 
but they do not see the causes of the alien rule 
coming in at all. Why has not alien rule penetrated 
into the regions of the North Western Frontier, 
why has it not gone to Afghanistan yet? Why not 
into Siberia? Surely those people are not 
intellectually superior to the inhabitants of India. 
Even the docile deer refuses to be caught alive; if 
you put her into slavery she dies. The lion and the 
tiger must be met and shot in the forests, you 
cannot break them into slavery. The wise 
statesmen of England with their eyes fixed on the 
sensed realities of life, have given to the educated 
Indians of to-day the semblance of democratic 
forms of Government, Legislative Assemblies ad 
infinitum to indulge to their heart's content in 
intellectual jingle and talk and foam at the mouth 
to exhaustion, as is their wont now from centuries 
of their glorious culture of inaction. There are 
newspapers, conferences, congresses, all talking in 
utter delirium for such is the wont of these people. 
From the platforms of the abstruse Jain and the 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Hindu discussions, they have come to this and 
they shall talk. But these rank theological talks led 
in the past to the relinquishment of all creative 
labour and love, serious application to the tasks of 
life, bee-like habits of silent, continuous work and 
industry, and to the loosening of the organic 
structure of the old pre-Upanishadic Aryan society 
which loved the home, the neighbour, its cattle and 
fields, and hated the enemy. The backbone of the 
people was thus broken, it is still broken, and the 
body-politic of the slaves of India is thinking of 
freedom by mere act of willing, as the pigeon shuts 
his eyes and wills that the cat should not eat it, 
while he shuts his eyes under hypnotic spell of the 
cat. Nor prayers nor wishes, nor wills of such 
people can be heard, who do not take to silent 
industrious continuous work, hard labour, art and 
handicraft. He who finds his life-work is free, no 
one can enslave him. The slaw nations have to 
utilise their masters and learn to work in silence, 
day and night, and leave them behind, like the 
tortoise and the hare, in the famous fable. Neither 
colour, nor vantage ground, nor present 
superiority would count, if the slaves work and 
excel their masters in their performance. Without 
material strength developed in man and gathered 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

at his back, to dream of the Hberation of a large 
group of men is as ridiculous as the debate of 
schoolboys in a class-room or of a few talk- 
intoxicated rats to bell the cat! To dream of a 
passive or active revolution in India is to invite 
unorganised anarchy which would hurt India more 
than anything else, though it is possible that that 
very anarchy might eradicate certain 
fundamentally fallacious notions from the Indian 
mind and put some life-giving, hard facts into its 
possession. All other things will stand 
undetermined as to the future of the slave, so long 
as he does not take to creative labour. A creator is 
forever free. To weave one yard of cloth with our 
own hand, to beat a ploughshare and to make a 
shoe must be exalted above a thousand speeches 
on patriotism, on the Hindu-Moslem unity, and the 
eradication of the caste system and the uplift of the 
depressed classes and all that kind of empty talk. It 
is incessant creative labour that will fix the faces of 
these different people, now fighting with each 
other, down to their work, so much so that they 
will have no leisure to talk on their religion to 
anyone but to themselves. Their differences and 
feuds and castes will disappear only in their 
incessant labour and when they become 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

thoroughly engrossed in their Hf e of joyous work. 

The problem of India is not easy of an early 
solution. It is not an All-India problem as these 
patriots make it to be. The task should be to cut up 
India into very very small units according to 
classes and castes and provinces and put them to 
work. Co-ordination in labour, co-operation in 
joint creation would lead to a united political 
whole. Unless this is done and the different 
congeries of men, according to their religious and 
social bias, put to work, India would not be free 
from the British yoke and though perchance it 
became free through anarchy the Afghan will soon 
be on its neck. A nation of intellectualists who have 
forced their meta-physical phrases and words and 
philosophic codes deep into the heart of the poor 
peasant and his wife, and have tried for all this 
time to deprive man of the settled enjoyment of life 
as it is, does not, after so much destructive work, 
deserve to be free in so short a time. 

These itinerant monks jingling their old rhymes 
and worn out slogans of the past still separate man 
from man, they do not teach religion, but rotten 
algebraic forms of some dead, old musty thoughts. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Swami Rama wrote against them, with his 
experiences of the modern methods of work. 

This academic sort of work of preaching reHgion 
goes on in Europe too, but there nothing grows so 
well, as the life of creative labour, of scientific, 
artistic work, with its human enjoyments. Where 
the weeds once begin to grow as in India, and 
where even the sowing of weeds goes on apace. 
Religion becomes itself a poison. Too much 
knowing becomes sin, as it takes away the beauty 
of ignorance that one finds in active sympathetic 
home life of the animal man. 

The Indian masses labouring in the fields, working 
in abject poverty, unassisted by the State or their 
own people, are still living in the sixth century 
A.D., and the two per cent of educated people not 
in the twentieth but in the twenty-ninth century 
A.D., so far as their imagined ideals are concerned, 
with all the great gulfs of the accumulated capital 
and the accumulated mental power between the 
two. Is it not ludicrous that efforts are being made 
to tear this huge, gigantic, unmoving mass of life 
from its old tradition, habit, thought and prejudice, 
by passing resolutions and by condemnation of the 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

foreign rule, with Japan as one example of such 
metamorphosis before them. But Japan has not a 
single man breathing in the country, who was not 
and is not fit for incessant creative labour. There, 
the religious wrangles are hushed in the sacredness 
of the artistic labour of centuries, there the noises 
of mind are hushed into the sweet harmony of life, 
which only silent work done for centuries can 
create. And then the sea around them makes a 
great difference between India and Japan. The 
children of the soil remain only breeding insects, 
the children of the sea become gods, for they play 
upon the bosom of the Infinite and with the 
dangers of the unknown. 

A voice has risen in India and that of Mahatma 
Gandhi, to go to the masses, to renounce the fruits 
of modern education, to take the old traditional 
work of simple labour and love. But the 
metaphysical temperament of the country has cast 
this message also into political terms, instead of 
social, and there it is already broken into pieces 
like fragile glass, for it is not given to the masses, it 
is taken up by a portion of the lifeless "educated" 
people of India and they shall fight over it, till all 
the milk of truth is spilt! As I have said, nothing 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

can now germinate here in weeds, only weeds shall 
grow! It is refreshing to find at least about this one 
man no humbug, but a potent candour of truth in 
its perfect simplicity. His message of Non-co- 
operation is the ancient Bikhshuism applied to 
political problems. It was, is and shall be the 
religion of only the few saintly and noble 
characters like himself. It is war reduced to self- 
sacrifice on an unlimited scale. His infinite 
impatience for the freedom of the down-trodden 
slaves of the whole world wishes to compress the 
evolution of a whole race in a single day. But his 
vision is fixed on the final simplicity of a perfectly 
freed home-life of man, with equal rights of peace 
and princeship! All differences of black and white 
dissolved forever in the inner freedom of the whole 
human race. 

Weave one yard of cloth a day, beat a sword, paint 
a picture, make an earthen pot, or tan a piece of 
raw hide into leather, plough and sow and tend 
your fields, rear a sheep, do any of these things 
and turn your back forever on congress and 
conferences, and boycott the Government. Let 
them govern you as they choose. Think not of 
India, think of supporting yourself and your family 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

on your own hard labour, think not of factories and 
mills for they must be dismantled even in the West 
as they constitute a veritable alien Government in 
even self-governing countries. Do not start where 
Europe is finishing and returning home with 
empty hands. Think of man and not of machine^ 
and then live well in a sweet home loving your 
wife and child, knowing them more, loving them 
more than your metaphysical Parmatman and 
Atman, and your Allah which however real to a 
Mohammad, is, in fact, nothing but a superstition 
for you, and concentrate yourself in building a 
sweet home life in silence and in peace, in joy of 
your own sacred work. It means really going back 
to the old village life, it means going back to the 
plough, away from the desire of sitting on thrones! 
I do think that some such is the divine message to 
the tired worlds and unless it is taken up, no 
change of government can bring in to any people 
the true self-government where a divine co- 
operative life can be secured from the humblest to 
the highest with an equal peace and prineeship of 
his sweet home, with an equal peace and 
prineeship of his own tilling of the soil, with an 
equal peace and prineeship of rearing his children 
in the atmosphere of freedom of a true citizenship. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

But all such moral development needs the self- 
protection of a military power, otherwise it cannot 
live long in the environment that revels to destroy 
such moral organisations and replace them by non- 
moral society based on the rights of might alone. 
Even in the past, no religion could breathe without 
a sword in hand, and this too comes as New 
Religion and needs its own sword, otherwise the 
winds would blow it away and dry up its seeds! 

I present below a few quotations from Swami 
Rama's writings on the subject: 

Says an American writer: 

I've thought and thought on men and things. 

As my uncle used to say, 

"If the folks don't work as they pray, by links. 

Why, there ain't no use to pray," 

If you want something and just dead set, 

A-pleading for it with both eyes wet. 

And tears won't bring it; why, you try sweat. 

As my uncle used to say. 

The power of safe and accurate response to 
external conditions is the essential feature of 
sanity. The inability to adapt action to need is a 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

characteristic of insanity. "Change or Perish" is the 
grim watchword of Nature. Keep pace with the 
advancing times and you can survive in the 
Struggle of Life. (India take note) 


A person can never realise his unity with God, the All, 
except when unity with the whole Nation throbs in 
every fibre of his frame. 

Instead of pouring the precious ghee into the mouth of 
artificial fire, why not offer even hard crusts of dry bread 
to the gastric fire which is eating up the flesh and bones 
of millions of starving but living Narayanas? 

The highest gift you can confer on a man is to offer him 
knowledge. You may feed a man today, he will be just as 
hungry to-morrow, teach him an art and you enable him 
to earn his living all his life. 

Half the population is dying of starvation, the other half 
is buried under conspicuous waste, superfluous 
furniture, scent bottles, affectations, galvanised 
manners, all sorts of precious trifles, squalid riches and 
unhealthy show. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

The Indian Princes and the Indian Nobles, having lost 
all their precious jewels and power, are left mere carpet 
knights with hollow rattling titles and vain empty 

There are some for whom patriotism means constant 
brooding over the vanished glories of the past - 
Bankrupted bankers pouring over the long out-dated 
credit books now useless. 

Young would-be Reformer! Decry not the ancient 
customs and spirituality of India. By introducing afresh 
element of discord, the Indian people cannot reach 

Abnegating the little ego and having thus become one 
with the whole country, feel anything and your country 
will feel with you; March, your country will follow. 

Service and love, and not mandates and compulsion, is 
the atmosphere for growth. 

The man who is worthy of being a leader of men will 
never complain of the stupidity of his helpers, of the 
faithlessness of his followers, of the ingratitude of 
mankind, nor of the non-appreciation of the public. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

A country is strengthened not by great men with small 
views, but by small men with great views. 

Perfect democracy, equality, throwing off the load of 
external authority, casting aside the vain accumulative 
spirit, throwing over-board all prerogatives, the 
spurning of the airs of superiority and shaking off the 
embarrassment of inferiority, is Vedanta on the material 

Let every man have equal liberty to find his own level. 
Head as high as you please, but feet always on the 
common ground, never upon any body's shoulders or 
neck, even though he be weak or willing. 

Pseudo-politicians think of bringing about national rise 
without striking the key-note of power, i.e., the spirit of 
freedom and love. 

The rise of Europe and America is not due to ChrisVs 
personality. The right cause is Vedanta practiced 
unconsciously. The downfall of India is due to Vedanta 
being absent in practice. 

To be saved from foreign politics the only remedy is to 
live the Law of spiritual health — the Law of love for your 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

All that we have to arouse among the Hindu people is a 
spirit of appreciation and not criticism, the sentiment of 
fraternity, the instinct of synthesis, the co-ordination of 
functions and aristocracy of labour. 

Assert your individuality against all society and all 
nations and everything. 

When you want to settle matters through reasoning and 
logic, while the glass partitions of caste-feeling and race- 
feeling do not let the hearts unite, you come in 
proximity of danger. 

Religious sectarianism has clouded manhood in the 
people and eclipsed the sense of common nationality. 

Those that you miscall fallen have not risen yet. They 
are the freshmen of the University just as you also were 
at one time. 

Beloved orthodox people of India! Put into force the 
Shastras aright, the Dharma of the country demands of 
you to relax the most stringent caste-rules and to 
subordinate the sharp class-distinctions to the national 

If you are not willing and ready to assimilate the New 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Light, which is also the old, old light of your own land, 
go and live in Pitri Loka with the forefathers. Why tarry 
here? Good-hye! 

As it is to-day the Swamis and Pandits in India are 
singing lullabies to prolong the lethargic sleep of their 

Independent thinking is looked upon (in India) a heresy, 
nay as the worst crime. Whatever comes from the dead 
language is sacred. 

A child turned Christian, although the very own flesh 
and blood of a Hindu father becomes more stranger than 
the street dog. 

Truth-consciousness brings strength and victory. Skin- 
consciousness (even if it be Brahman-consciousness or 
Sannyasa-consciousness) makes a cobbler of you. 

A woman is given the position of an inanimate object in 
civilised society whereas a man is free in his ways and a 
woman is kept bound hand and foot. She becomes the 
property of one man, then of another man. 

It is a great blemish on the face of civilised society that 
woman is made a mercantile commodity and woman is 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

possessed and made to belong to man in the same sense 
as a tree or a house or money belongs to him. 

Neglecting the education of women, children, and the 
labouring classes is like cutting down the very branches 
that are supporting us, nay, it is like striking a death- 
blow at the very foot of the tree of nationality . 

What aches the head, bends the back, or chokes the 
chest? It is walking on the head instead of on the feet. 
Let your feet be on the earth and your head in air (filled 
with heavenly joy); invert not the divine ordinance, put 
not the earth on your heads, and call it sane living, take 
not the appearance more seriously than the divine (real) 

Havan ceremony forms a most important and necessary 
feature of Yajna as ordinarily understood. The most 
common argument on the lips of some of its present-day 
votaries is: '^ Havan purifies the air and it produces 
fragrant perfumes,'^ That is very far-fetched. The 
perfumes, delicious to smell like all other stimulants or 
^^ white lies of physiology, ^^ exhilarate for the moment 
entailing a depression of spirits for reaction. Stimulants 
may help to borrow from our future store of energy, but 
they borrow always at compound interest and never 
repay the loan, Rama tells you, what your scriptures say 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

about the Gods becoming visible on the occasions of 
Yajna ceremonies is indeed literary true. But that 
simply proves the power of collective concentration. The 
latest researches of psychology show that the effect of 
concentration increases as the square of the number of 
one-minded people present on the occasion. That is the 
virtue of Sat Sang. 

An effective method of creating love and union among 
the masses and especially women and children (and 
hence the future generations) is Nagar Kirthan singing 
and dancing processions or pageant shows passing 
through streets fearlessly proclaiming the Truth. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 




MR. C. F. ANDREWS, in Ms Introduction to the 
collection of his writings and speeches^^ says: 

He would undoubtedly have altered much and 
possible abbreviated much. He would have 
corrected also the metrical forms of his poems, 
which have clearly been put down on paper as the 
inspiration to write came to him, without any 
laboured correction. But while there is considerable 
loss to the reader on this account, there is also 
considerable gain, for what is lost in finish and 
correctness is gained in freshness and vitality, . . 
The readers will gladly make allowance for 
repetition and lack of finish, when the 
individuality of the Swami himself is brought so 
vividly before them by his manuscript notes. 

This mention of his poems leads me on to the last 

^' In Woods of God-Realisation, published by Swami Rama Tirath 
Publication League, Lucknow, 4 vols. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

feature of his life and writings which I would wish 
to mention, I do so with considerable diffidence as 
it is quite possible that others may take a different 
view to my own. But what I would venture to say 
is briefly this, that I find in Swami Rama Tirath's 
poetic spirit, which lies behind his philosophy, the 
highest value of his written work. In this seems to 
be its freshness, its originality, its contribution to 
the world of thought. His romantic love of nature, 
strong in his life as in his death, his passion for 
sacrifice and renunciation, his eager thirst for 
reality and self-abandonment in search of Truth, 
his joy and laughter of the soul in the victory he 
had won; — all these and other qualities, such as 
these which make him break out into song reveal 
the true poet behind the philosopher. 

Again says Mr. Andrews: 

"... My whole heart goes out to the writer in his 
beautiful passages on renunciation as the Law of 
Life Eternal; or again in his intense and vivid 
appreciation of beauty in nature ; or again, to 
mention only one more instance, in his ideal of 
married life. I experience in a measure the same 
sympathy when I read some of the poetry of the 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Upanishads or certain passages from that greatest 
of all Hindu poems - Bhagavad-Gita. There also the 
note is struck which is heard many times in Swami 
Rama's writings, that only in the unruffled silence 
of the soul can the divine harmony of the universe 
be heard. 

Writing on the unconscious approximation of the 
East in poets like Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, 
and Keats and of the West in true Easterns like 
Swami Vivekananda, Swami Rama and in poets 
like Mrs. Sarojini Naidu, amongst others, he 

From the side of the East, there is the approach 
made towards the West in what both Swami 
Vivekananda and Swami Rama Tirath have called 
by the title of "Practical Vedanta," the 
approximation, that is to say, of the modern 
Advaita Vedanta to the spirit of Christian 
philanthropy in its social and national applications. 
Here again the approach may well have its limits 
and the social and national development of the 
East under the new Hindu impulse may differ both 
in kind and in degree from that of Europe under 
the Christian training of nearly 2,000 years. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

It is because Swami Rama Tirath was so singularly 
fitted to make some of these advances towards 
approximation, and to interpret Indian thought to 
the West that I hold this series of lectures to be of 
value to my own countrymen. 

As regards his poems, Mr. C. F. Andrews says: 

It (the happiness within him) is this also which 
bubbles over his poems waking in others an echo 
of his own laughter. The outward setting of these 
poems, as I have already said, may often be crude 
and even grotesque, but the inner spirit may be 
caught by the sympathetic reader beneath the 
imperfect vehicle of expression. 

In India, he wrote poetry in Urdu, on his return 
from America, he started again in Urdu, in 
imitation of the free verse of Walt Whitman. It is in 
America, that perhaps he had to give vent to his 
feelings in English. As Mr. Andrews says the 
setting is crude and grotesque, but when I, as a 
young and new monk, received his poems for the 
first time, in Tokyo, I, who did not know any defect 
in the form of his poems then, drank them literally 
as draughts of sunlight, for then I was en rapport 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

with his inner spirit whose chords they came and 
touched and vibrated. The underlying spirit of 
these poems is ''in solution" and not yet 
crystallised into a definite form of expression. 
Some of his poems were put to music and were 
sung to the assemblies before he got up and 
addressed them. 

As I have said elsewhere, he confounded all 
ownerships of authors, and sometimes, sang other 
people's poetry as his own, without mentioning 
the names of the original composers. His 
originality in poetry was of his own joy and feeling 
and not of the forms. He took up any one's violin 
and began smiting its chords. 

His spirit of poetry is best caught in his letters, 
given at various places in this book, then by the 
"violins" belonging to other people, as seen in his 
collection of couplets given elsewhere, and then by 
his own poems, of which a few I give below and, 
on the whole, it pervaded as the music of emotion 
the published American addresses which he gave 
extempore and had no time to revise for the press. 
It is difficult to disentangle his spirit from this 
prose which he did not write but spoke out, and as 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Mr. Andrews says, their highest value Hes in the 
poetic spirit behind them. This poetic spirit is 
modified, intellectuaHsed and made heavy in his 
written articles on Indian subjects — political, social, 
theological — on his return from America, I at least 
sadly miss in the latter that light and bubbling 
form of his previous utterances and songs in Aliph 
and also in his American speeches and poems. 

The following poem was put to music in America: 

Within the temple of my heart. 

The Light of love its glory sheds. 

Despite the seeming prickly thorns. 

The flower of love free fragrance spreads. 

Perennial springs of babbling joy 

With radiant, sparkling splendour flow. 


Free birds of golden plumage sing 
Blithe songs of joy and praise. 
Sweet children of the blushing spring 
Deep notes of welcome raise; 
The roseate hues of nascent morn 
The meadows, lakes and hills adorn. 
The nimbus of perpetual grace 
Cool showers of nectar softly rains! 


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The rainbow arch of charming colours 
With smiles the vast horizon paints. 

The world I saw, studied and learnt 
This primer well did me describe. 
Its letters were hieroglyphic toys. 
In different ways did me describe. 
This alphabet so curious one day, 
I relegate to the waste-paper basket. 
I burn this booklet leaf by leaf. 
To light my lonely smoking pipe! 
I smoke and blow it through my mouth. 
And watch the curly smoke go out. 


Civilisation, vagrant dream! 
Respecting names and forms that seem; 
Thou raisest a foolish dust of show. 
Thyself in darkness dost not know; 
You climb a hill to comb the hair. 
You murder Self to cherish care 
To please the public, win esteem. 
You sacrilege the Self supreme. 


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You pander to the taste of slaves. 
Blind slaves of fashion, honoured knaves. 
To aping custom you conform. 
Convention, artificial form. 

At every step is "Will it pay?" 
And fear, "What will people say? 
"How timid, tiny, reed-like, frail. 
At every turn but turning pale! 

O measles, itching-fever, sad. 
Of nations, running masses mad; 
Thy baneful ways and habits vain 
Forego, be sane, be sane, be sane. 


Ye magnetised to laziness. 
Of weakness and deceit a mess; 
Punctilious, touchy, hot and red. 
Like swollen sore with gathered head. 

Bewildered hordes, befoundered millions. 
All, at the mercy of opinions. 
Why Majesty of Self ye spurn. 
From clothes nobility ye earn? 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Like pendulum ye oscillate. 
On transient trifles to dilate. 
By wan appearance ruled away 
With iron hand, despotic sway. 

Trade interests displace your love. 
And Mammon shoots the.sacred Dove 
Not free to laugh, not free to weep. 
Not free to love, nor free to sleep. 

Ah! sheaths of sham and masks of shame 
And breathless awe of name and fame 
I Your health is illth and goods are bad; 
Improper property keeps you sad. 

In clothes as coffins, homes as graves. 
Ye bury Self, then wail and rave. 
Ye spare the husks and soil the Soul, 
To save a part, ye lose the whole. 

Possessed ye are by your possessions. 
Oppressed by hitting hard suggestions, 
O living dull in two dimensions. 
Prosaic embarrassment and tensions. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Wake up, wake up, awake! 

Tear off the veil, your slumbers shake! 

Gods of Worlds, O Lords of hosts. 
Why dance attendance on the ghosts? 

Cast off the shadows of desires. 
Shine out the Suns and Stars and Fires! 
Toll, toll the knell of care and clinging. 
Hear Angels, Hallelujahs singing. 

To property no deference. 
Dissolved every difference. 
No jealousy, no fear, 

1 am the dearest of the dear. 

All the secrets so clear! 
One to Me far and near. 
I stretch in Infinity, 
Sinks in Me all affinity. 
I am Life, I am manna I 
Hosanna! Hosanna I 

As the Sun dims the stars. 
Beating drum drowns guitars. 
As the sea eats up streams. 
Wakeful mood sweeps up dreams. 


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Pure Love drinks up fear. 
So do I wash up clear. 
Pain, envy, and weakness. 
Death, vanity, and meekness. 
Earth, Phoebus, Diana. 
Hosanna! Hosanna! 

O Earths and waters. 
My sons and daughters, 
O flora and fauna! 
All limitations flinging 
Break forth into singing, 
Hosanna! Hosanna! 


Through the arched door 

Of eyebrows I pour 

And sit in the heaven of heart; 

There well do I ride 

In glory and guide. 

And no one can leave Me and part. 

All men and ma'ams 

Sleep in my arms. 

In me they rest and walk; 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

I strike the chords. 
They utter the words 
Through me, in me they talk. 

Merry wedlock, union. 

On earth or in heaven 

Is a dim foreshadowing symbol 

Of my perfect embrace. 

Of the whole human race 

And my clasp so firm and nimble. 

As the golden lance 

Of the Sun's sharp glance, 

I pierce the hearts of flowers. 

As the silv'ry ray 

Of the full Moon gay 

I hook up the sea to my bowers. 

As the balmy air of the morning fair 

I kiss the rose to bloom ; 

In a wild, wild dream 

Like a zigzag stream 

I bear the world in my womb. 

O Lightning! O Light! - 

O Thought quick and bright 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

I Come, let us run a race; 
Avaunt! Avaunt! 
Fly, Fly, but you can't 
With Me ever keep pace. 

O Elements, Storms! 

Thundering forms! 

1 stretch my arms around 
Ye harnessed to my car 
Drive wide and far 

On, on and round and round. 

I laugh and laugh. 
At Destiny scoff, 
I thrill creations aura. 
My Ocean of Wonder 
Breaks forth in thunder. 
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! 


From the mountain high 

You peer and pry, 

Mark well my lonely chamber. 

'^^ This poem was written at midnight, as the moonlight crept up 
into Ramans cottage at Shasta Springs 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

As a maiden shy 

All round you spy 

So that no one be by 

With a face as pale as amber. 

Though coy and cold 
Yet making very bold 
You steal up blushing red 
Through the window door 
On the carpet floor 
Then upto my very bed. 

There bending low 
You kiss my brow 
And kiss my eyes to wake; 
Thy radiant touch. 
Thy whispering glare. 
Unclouded bare. 
Sweet breath, are such 
My sleep away they take. 

Yourself and I 
Together we lie. 
For a while we lie together. 
Round me you twine, 
I drink your wine 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Till each is lost in the other. 


A fearful, terrible shock was felt; 
Unnerved, affrighted was the frame; 
And lo! the cause which cruelly dealt 
Was flickering, trembling, shadow tame; 
The shadow of Doubt upsets the Master, 
I cannot suppress a laughter. 

A dog to snatch a piece of meat 
From his reflected image in lake. 
Of real meat, himself did cheat 
Why Real Joy for fun forsake? 
O! What a mock disaster! 
I cannot suppress a laughter. 

The journey ends and reached is goal; 

The long and weary toil is o'er: 

For this the universe did roll. 

Now, suns and stars their greetings pour. 

As sheep attend the pastor: 

I cannot suppress a laughter 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

In harmony with Power and Love, 
In tune with Infinite Lord of all. 
At one with Omnipresent Soul, 
In union with heavenly call. 
At peace with equal, high and low. 
Seeing Self above, below 

O, what a peace and bliss and joy! 
The whole of nature I enjoy; 
I sing the music of the spheres 
Out capers in the dance of stars 

In seas I leap and shout forth cheers. 
My noisy games are clamorous wars; 
Oh Joy! How fast am I, and faster! 
I can't suppress a laughter. 

Why blush and quake, O rising Sun I 
I won't slap red thy cheeks and chide: 
Come, Nature, come, my wee sweet child. 
My flesh and blood, O darling son! 
Come to my arms, dissolving one I 
Than me there's nothing softer, 
I can't suppress a laughter. 

I cannot love, for Love I am. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Oh! What shall I desire or crave? 
The heart of everything I am. 
Instead of wish I gladness have. 
All objects I enjoy as Me, 
Light, life I give to all that be. 
Of every boat I am the wafter, 
I can't suppress a laughter. 


When blooms the maiden's rosy cheek. 
The bee like lover's eyes seek 
Sweet nectar from that rose; 
The charm is mine in this and those. 

I freeze in dazzling diamond snows; 
Fond burning heart, with me it glows. 
I'll tell you that thou needst not vex 
At seeing Nature so complex; 
Your riddles. Nature, solve in me. 
Just marry me, dissolve in me. 

Nay, don't say so, splendid Lord, 
You are already Master, God 
Of each and all in every station 
Of all the Forces of creation; 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

And thou art Nature, laws and worlds 
Thou far transcendest thought and words 

O ye afflicted with suspicion! 

O ye possessed of superstition! 

O ye that suffer pain and sorrow! 

O ye pining for the promised morrow! 

O ye bereaved of dear and near! 

ye whose intellect is not clear! 
Why tantalise yourself in vain? 
Fish, suffering thirst in ocean main? 

In you the highest Heaven lies. 
Your mind to outer objects flies! 
Turn inward, know the Self supreme. 
No more shall maladies be seen. 

Ye realise the inner Ham 

O! What a soothing myrrh and balm! 

O! What a demon-caster! 

1 cannot suppress a laughter. 

The foam as terra firma ta'en 
Brings floundering in the bog 
The false apparent self abused 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

As real lands in wretchedness. 

Affections, feelings, cravings, wishes 
Would seek me, reach me, cling to me. 
And fain would bur-like stick to me. 
But when my Beal Self is seen. 
They vanish like the dark in Sun, 
Are cast away, as drops of spray 
By birds of downy wings. 
Unsullied before and after. 
I can't suppress a laughter. 

In Unaffected Witness 
Light For sentiments no quarters, 
I look them in the face and die 
These curious poor martyrs. 

The local consciousness of self. 

Congestion of the vein of self. 

This vortex, ego is dissolved 

And all the shapes and forms are mine. 

Ah! Foolish knack, with misery fraught 

That places personal selves behind 

The bodies and forms of foes and friends I 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

This knack entangles, pinches, smarts. 
This isolating habit's gone. 
Imputes no personal motives Rama. 

The bodies are numerous. Soul is one. 
That Soul supreme is none but I. 

I am the worker, witness, judge. 
The snarling critic, applauder. 

Free, free is everyone to me 
No bondage, limit, fault I see. 

Free, free am I and others free. 
God, God I am and you and he. 

No debt, no duty, fraud or fear, 
I am the One, the Now, the Here. 

The final source of passions all. 
The cause of feeling's rise and fall; 
The Home of beauty, heart of love. 
The soul of eagle, peacock, dove ; 

The inmost centre of desire. 
The pulling force of every wire; 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

That which reveals as gravitation. 
The real source of all causation Am I. 

In everything my breath I feel. 
In earth and moon, and sun I reel, 

I blow in air and grow in grass, 
I flow in rivers, throw in mass. 

The present, absent, near and far. 
The past and future, flower, star; 

Bewitching eyes, enchanting song. 
Expressions fascinating, strong; 

Sweet silv'ry words and honeyed lips. 
The silken locks and dalliant grips. 

As Me and Mine I enjoy 

Joy! O Joy! O Joy! 

Than thought my dominion vaster 

1 cannot suppress a laughter. 


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OM! OM! OM! 

O happy, happy, happy Ram! 
Serene and peaceful, tranquil, calm. 
My joy can nothing, nothing mar. 
My course can nothing, nothing bar 

My livery wear gods, men, and birds. 
My bliss supreme transcendeth words. 
Here, there, and everywhere; 
There, where no more a ''Where?" 

Now, ever, anon and then; 
Then, when's no more a "When?" 
This, that and which and what; 
That, that's above a "What?" 

First, last and mid and high. 
The One beyond a "Why?" 
One, five and hundred. All, 
Transcending number, one and all 

The subject, object, knowledge, sight; 
Even that description is not right. 
Was, is, and e'er shall be, 
Confounder of the verb ''to be" 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

The sweetest Self, the truest Me, 
No Me, no Thee, no He. 

The Infinite is that, the Infinite is this; 
And on and on, unchanged is Infinite. 
Goes out the Infinite from the Infinite 
And there remains unchanged the Infinite. 

The outward loss betrays the Infinite, 
The seeming gain displays the Infinite. 
The going, coming, subtracting, adding 
Are seeming modes and truth the Infinite, 

O, what a charm marvellous spreads. 
Over every hill and dale, 
Wond'rous blue and green my beds 
Charming every red and pale. 

Glorious, glorious light it sheds 
Over every storm and hail. 
Beauteous, beauteous one and all. 
Heavenly, heavenly blessed call. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Oh! Brimful is my cup of joy. 

Fulfilled completely all desires; 

Sweet morning zephyrs I employ, 

Tis I in bloom their kiss admires. 

The rainbow colours are my attires ; 

My errands run light, lightning, fires. 

All over I am, all sweethearts I, 

I am desires, emotions I. 

The smiles of rose, the pearls of dew. 

The golden threads so fresh, so new. 

Of Sun's bright rays embalmed in sweetness. 

The silvery moon, delicious neatness. 

The playful ripples, waving trees. 

Entwining creepers, humming bees. 

Are my expression* my balmy breath 

My respiration in life and death. 

All ill and good, and bitter and sweet. 

In that my throbbing pulse doth beat. 

What shall I do, or where remove? 
I fill all space, no room to move. 
Shall I suspect or I desire? 
All time is me, all force my fire. 
Can I be doubt or sorrow-stricken? 
No, I am verily all causation. 
All time is now, all distance here, 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

All problem solved, solution clear. 
No selfish aim, no tie, no bond. 
To me do each and all respond. 
Impersonal Lord of foe and friend. 
To me doth every object bend. 



Break, break, break at the feet of thy crag, oh sea. 
Break, break, break at my feet, O worlds that be, 
O suns and storms, O earthquakes, wars. Hail, 
welcome, come, try all your force on me! 
Ye nice torpedoes, fire! my playthings, crack! 
O shooting stars, my arrows, fly! 
You burning fire! can you consume? 

threatening one, you flame from me; 
You flaming sword, you cannon ball. 
My energy headlong drives forth thee! 
The body dissolved is cast to winds; 
Well doth Infinity me enshrine! 

All ears, my ears, all eyes, my eyes; 

All hands, my hands, all minds, my minds! 

1 swallowed up death, all difference I drank up; 
How sweet and strong a food I find! 

No fear, no grief, no hankering pain; 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

All, all delight, or sun, or rain! 
Ignorance, darkness, quaked and quivered. 
Trembled, shivered, vanished forever; 
My dazzling light did parch and scorch it, 
Joy ineffable! Hurrah I Hurrah! 

Roll on, ye suns and stars, roll on. 
Ye motes in dazzling Light of lights. 
In me, the Sun of suns, roll on 

O, orbs and globes mere eddies, waves. 
In me the surging oceans wide 
Do rise and fall, vibrate, roll on. 

worlds, my planets, spindles, turn; 
Expose me all your parts and sides. 
And dancing, bask in light of life. 


1 Sleep, baby, sleep. 

No sobs, no cries, ne'er weep. 
Rest undisturbed, all fears fling. 
To praise Thee all the angels sing. 
Arbiter of riches, beauty and gifts. 
Thy innocent Atma governs and lifts. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 


Soft roses, silvery dew-drops sweet. 
Honey, fragrance, zephyrs, genial heat. 
Melodious warbling, notes so dear. 
And all that pleases eye or ear. 
Come from Thy heavenly, blissful home: 
Pure, pure Thou art, untainted Om. 
Sleep, baby, sleep, etc. 


No foes, no fear, no danger, none. 
Can touch Thee, O Eternal One! 
Sweet, lovely, tender, gentle, calm. 
Of sleep Thy Atman doth embalm. 
Thyself doth raise the spangled dome 
Of starry heavens, O darling Om! 
Sleep, baby, sleep, etc. 


The sun and moon Thy playing balls. 
The rainbow arch bedecks Thy halls. 
The milky ways for Thee to walk. 
The clouds, when meet, of Thee they talk; 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

The sphere. Thy dolls, sing, dance and roam. 
They praise Thee Om, Om Tat Sat Om! 
Sleep, baby, sleep, etc. 


In lilies and violets, lakes and brooks. 
How sweet Thy sleeping beauty looks. 
Let time and space, the blankets warm. 
Roll off Thy face by sleeping arm. 
Look half askance as baby lies. 
Dear naughty boy with laughing eyes! 
Sleep, baby, sleep, etc. 


The shrill, sharp echoes of cuckoos 
Are whistles, rattles. Thou doth choose. 
The sparrows, winds, and all the stars 
Are beautiful toys and baby's cars. 
The world is but Thy playful dream. 
It is in Thee, tho' outside seem. 
Sleep, baby, sleep, etc. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 


O wakeful home of rest and sleep! 
O active source of wisdom deep! 
O peaceful spring of life and action! 
O lovely cause of strife and faction! 
To limiting darkness bid adieu! 
Adieu! Adieu! Adieu! adieu! 
Sleep, baby, sleep, etc. 


The beauteous objects, charming things. 
Are flattering sounds of beating wings. 
Of Thee, O Eagle blessed King, 
Or fleeting shadows of Thy wing. 
Bewitching beauty half reveals. 
And as a veil it half conceals 
The wearer of this veil. Sweet Om, 
The real Self, Om, Tat Sat Om. 
Sleep, baby, sleep, etc 

Oh! How could I get my Love's likeness! 
Could anything like Him be conceived! 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Could He in cameras be received! 
Could Artist stand to take His picture? 
Could He appear in colour and figure? 
The camera of form did melt away! 
His flood of light was too much, too much, 

how could I get my Love's likeness. 


1 focussed the mind to take His portrait. 
Adjusted the eyes to take His portrait. 
The camera of heart to take His portrait. 
The apparatus all did melt away ; 

His flood of light was too much, too much. 
O how could I get my Love's likeness ; 
Then I'll have him as I could not have his 

They say the Sun is but His photo. 
They say that man is in His image. 
They say He twinkles in the stars. 
They say He smiles in fragrant flowers. 
They say He sings in nightingales. 
They say He breathes in cosmic air. 
They say He weeps in raining clouds. 
They say He sleeps in winter nights. 
They say He runs in prattling streams, 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

They say He swings in rainbow arches 


Peace like a river flows to me. 

Peace as an ocean rolls in me. 

Peace like the Ganges flows. 

It flows from all my hair and toes, 

O fetch me quick my wedding robes. 

White robes of light, bright rays of gold. 

Slips on, lo! once for all the veil to fling! 

Flow, flow, O wreaths, flow fair and free. 

Flow wreaths of tears of joy, fiow free. 

What glorious aureole, wondrous ring. 

O nectar of life! O magic wine! 

To fill my pores of body and mind! 

Come fish, come dogs, come all who please. 

Come powers of nature, bird and beast. 

Drink deep my blood, my flesh to eat. 

come, partake of marriage feast. 

1 dance, I dance, with glee 

In stars, in suns, in oceans free. 

In moons and clouds, in winds I dance. 

In will, emotions, mind I dance. 

I sing, sing, I am symphony, 

I'm boundless ocean of Harmony 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

The subject— which perceives. 
The object— thing perceived. 
As waves in me they double. 
In me the worlds do bubble. 


Dear little violet, with Thy dewy eye. 

Look up and tell me truly. 

When no one is nigh. 

What Thou art! 

The violet answered with a gentle sigh. 

If that is to be told when alone. 

Then I must sadly own. 

You will never know what am I 

For my brothers and sisters are all around 

In the air and on the ground. 

And they are the same as I 


The Story Of Swami Rama 




SWAMI RAMA had forced himself into the ochre 
robe of a Sanyasi. He had an indomitable will and 
he willed it so. But he was too poetic and too 
emotional to have been at all comfortable in this 
garb. At Hard war, when he fell ill, I was in 
attendance. He liked me because I was all tears for 
him, I blew like a soft breeze in and out of his sick 
room. I loved him, for he was so beautiful, so 
fascinating and so personal. Everything was done 
as he wished. I never said "no" to him. "Yes, sir," 
"yes, sir," greeted him from my lips. And with half 
opened mouth and tearful looks I imbibed, in love 
and veneration, almost unconsciously the lessons 
of his great life. There was he before me lying ill for 
about a month, who had toiled day and night to 
gather with both the hands, the very cheerfulness 
of God, whose laughter rang round the hills of 
Hardwar, even when he lay ill with fever. 

One day, his wife and his step-mother and his little 
son hardly of about six years of age came from the 
Punjab at great personal expense to have his 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Darshanam as he had just returned from America. 
The whole family was not very well off, as their 
ablest wage earner had cut himself off from them 
due to an uncontainable excess of his brilliance 
itself, and there were they living in the average 
usual poverty of an Indian family that gets 
suddenly bereft of its wage earner. It was for the 
relief of the sheer mental pain of the family caused 
by his long absence away in America, that they 
spent all their extra money for a visit to Hardwar. I 
went and reported their arrival to the Swami who 
was still lying in bed, though fully recovered of his 
ailment, yet weak and exhausted. His cheeks, like 
the temples of an apple, had begun to burn faintly 
again in their habitual glow, his deep transparent 
black eyes seemed to be resting like two bees on 
the blossomed roses. He called for his glasses and I 
handed them over to him. He cleaned them with 
his ochre-coloured silk and put them on. And all 
this while, I believe he was thinking a reply to be 
given to me, as I had told him that his wife, mother 
and his little child had arrived. 

"Puranji!" as he used to call me, ''have you any 
money with you?" "Yes sir! I have and how much is 
required; and I can get more," replied I. "Please 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

take them to the Railway Station and get them a 
return ticket to the Punjab, Let them have their 
bath in my Ganges and let them return. They 
cannot see me." I was now for about a month with 
him with the mute little dumb animal love I had 
for him. But all the peace in me exploded as if he 
had lighted a fire, "Good-bye, Swamiji! I too am 
going and I will never see you again. You! You 
who ought to have been the mainstay and support 
of the family snatched yourself away from them. 
They come spending their own little money and 
they are nobodies to you. And we the foolish boys 
and men who come and merely play about you 
and humour you some way are great things. They 
are pilgrims who wish to have the glimpses of their 
Sanyasi. They have not come to lay any claims on 
you or to reclaim you. If you cannot see them, it is 
cruel. I cannot live with one who disregards 
personal relations in so heartless a manner, 
particularly when they need but a look, a smile and 
a glance at you and nothing else." Saying this, I 
took my departure from the room, and I would 
have left promptly, but I had only half opened the 
door to get out, when the Swami laughed heartily 
and called me back and said: "All right! Let them 
come in." 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

I was abashed in his presence of my unusual heat 
to no purpose, and they came in by this time. He 
simply laughed heartily, and received them with 
his usual smile, but with the serene temper of a 
monk. The little child said, "Swamiji! May I recite 
my lessons to you", "Yes! Oh! You have begun to 
read. How splendid!" he said and listened to his 
recitation. "Puranji! Give him a bunch of grapes" 
said the Swami, and I lifted it from the mantlepiece 
and put it in both the upspread hands of the little 
boy. The grapes were not much satisfaction to him, 
he wanted what he could no more get. Swami's 
wife stood all the while looking at him and 
speechless. Not a word passed between them. 
There was a little lovely talk interspersed with the 
ringing of Swami's laughter, with the step-mother, 
and the Swami enquired about every one of his 
family, and thus closed the interview, and these 
pilgrims withdrew from the room. I thought how 
tragic is the association of little minds with the 
great, and how the relations of one with the other 
end in pathetic separations while both live 
breathing the same air and seeing the same sun. 
They were sent back. It was after full one year 
when I met Swami again at Vashoon or Vashishtha 
Ashram, that he said many little sweet things to me 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

when he and I sat alone on a green sward of the 
Himalayas and I distinctly remember his telling 

'Turanji! Rama never knew that this ochre garb is 
not of freedom. Slaves have begun to wear these 
robes and they have made it so formal, so 
conventional that Rama feels impatient about it 
now. When he next goes down to the plains, in a 
full assembly, he will tear his robe into pieces in 
public, and announce that the orange robe of the 
Sanyasi is no more a vehicle of freedom". 

"You remember Rama told you to send Rama's 
family people at Hardwar and you got so enraged. 
Rama too has a heart, but that time he thought of 
obeying the laws of the robe he was wearing. It 
was a formal refusal on his part to see them. How 
can man forget his personal relations, when 
emotion still stirs in his breast, be it for God or for 

The poets cannot be petrified into unfeeling stones. 
Spiritual development does not mean 
insensateness. They killed Keats by harsh words 
only. The greater the development, the greater the 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

"How divine was the face of Brahmananda's^^ 
mother. She looked transfigured that day. Did she 

"Rama is glad you have married. After all, a 
married life is a much stabler one. You both could 
come and live on these Himalayan tops." 

From a humble, pure, poor student, he rose into a 
full statured man, roseate with the dawn of cosmic 
consciousness in him, and a man of deep 
concentration, wonderful vivacity, irrepressible 
laughter, bubbling with joy, lofty in his visions, 
light and racy in his gait. He rose up mad, fully 
drunk with divine wine, his face aglow with the 
divine fire, his eyes closed, his lips parted in a loud 
scream, and a cry leaping forth in the air on the 
bank of the Ravi, his arms fully spread, quivering 
with passion, his bosom heaving, his tears 
streaming! The very trees vibrated with him, the 
breezes played with him, the stones talked to him! 
He went almost senseless to the Oriental College as 
the reader of mathematics, and he knew not where 
his body was. In the Mission College, he would 
address every student of his class, "O Krishna, 

^' Tlie name ofSivami's youngest son 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Beloved! You know everything; what is it that I am 
to teach you." If a boy pleaded ignorance, he would 
repeat ''O Krishna, Beloved! You know all". He 
would thus inspire the boy with the solution of the 
problem, who would come and then do it on the 
black board with ease. From the Mission College, 
this mad young man of Lahore went to the 
Oriental College still teaching, but his condition 
had grown worse. His ailment was becoming 

One day, he went and stood before Dr. Ewing, the 
Principal of the Lahore Mission College and said 
"You! You worship Christ! Have you seen Him 
with your eyes? No! You have not seen him. Look! 
Look! Ewing! Christ is standing before you. Thus 
the madness was complete. 

In those days, those that met him in the Lahore 
streets felt a strange fascination for him. Self- 
concentrated, self-absorbed, vibrating with the 
sound of 'OM,' he went through the streets and the 
very pavement thrilled under his tread. "Say you 
are God, go on the top of the house at the dead of 
night and proclaim T am God' - O man! Get up and 
rise and say T am God,'" he used to preach. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

It was the loud pitch and the piercing tone on 
which this new rising man emphasised and wished 
his admirers to proclaim, 'I am God'. Any good 
thing, any beautiful thing he saw any heroic action 
he heard about, any bold deed or thought when 
reported to him elicited from him the remark ''Ah! 
This is Vedanta". Vedanta was a word that spelt 
everything noble, beautiful, spiritual and glorious 
in human history. It was no philosophy to him. It 
was all poetry. 

Dr. Mohammad Iqbal of Lahore told me: "One day 
he had colic and I visited him at his house, and 
cramp after cramp came curling his thin, bony 
body into circles and semi-circles, and evidently 
the pain was excruciating, but I saw him ringing 
with laughter. His room was filled with joy. O 
Iqbal! What should Rama feel when one of his 
million bodies is ill? I laugh and laugh, and illness 
has fallen to the share of this body and the laughter 
to my soul" 

"His mind was evolving exactly as I thought," 
continued Iqbal, "and in spite of all his 
renunciations I knew he would come back one day 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

and live as a simple householder" 

It is then I told Iqbal the little talk I had with 
Swami at Vashoon, which interested him much. 
Swami was a mind, a soul, a dynamic personality, 
not a dead mental principle or vow of any kind. 

Whether he would have actually reverted to the 
life of a householder or not, I cannot say, but I do 
find that in America and on his return from there, 
he was more or less disgusted with the so-called 
Monkism and admired the life of a married man. 
Kamalananda, his Amerian lady disciple, who 
stayed with me for about six months under the 
same roof at Dehra Dun, told me that in America, 
Swami Rama, many a time, expressed a desire of 
making his own home in a country like America. 
He talked against the caste system, and dwelt at 
length on the goodness of married life. While on 
his return to India, he eschewed it again, and took 
up the stale subject of celibacy. The former I 
believe was due to his free intercourse on terms of 
intimate comradeship with the freed women of 
America. In America, he idealised the woman. And 
a poetic nature like his always needs vitally this 
idealisation. But at the same time I am not denying 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

that his preaching in America about the sanctity of 
marital Hfe may be due to Swami Rama's feeHng 
that the West stood in need of the lesson. It is a pity 
he lost touch with the sweetness of the company of 
women, otherwise the story of his life would have 
been more lyrical than ascetic. 

Dr. Iqbal also told me that there was much sorry 
comment on Swami Rama's resignation of his post 
as a professor. In mad, burning words he wrote 
that the King Rama could no more be a servant of 
anyone but of the King. The foolish senators talked 
that he had gone insane, but Iqbal, then a young 
professor, rebutted their remarks saying if Tirath 
Rama was mad, then there was very little sense left 
elsewhere. It was the madness of Spinoza, it was 
the poetry of a prophet. 


When I met him in Japan, I found his personality 
was infectious. He was, so to say, absorbable by a 
devotee. He could impart elevation of his own 
consciousness to the willing seeker if the latter 
came en rapport with him. It happened in my case, I 
had, learnt no books on Vedanta and Hindu 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Philosophy. I did not take notes of what he said 
and digested them. I think, in my rapture of 
meeting him, I did not even hear his spoken words, 
as others did in Japan. But I imbibed the whole of 
his bliss and thought by direct touch of his 
consciousness with my consciousness. It was more 
or less, a subjective kind of training in a moment. 

So was it in the case of at least one other, and the 
story was related to me personally by Mrs. 
Wellman of America. His fire flew to others and 
many a bosom stole the flame from his burning 
self. But as I met him at Muttra, Pushkar, Hardwar, 
Vashishtha Ashram in India on his return, that 
subtle volatile essence of the personality of a Faqir 
(a living mystic) had already vanished, and Swami 
Rama had begun handling himself and the world 
with the great powers of his well-trained intellect. 
He was casting new ladders to go up. The high 
inspired ecstatic state, the volatile Avesh, had gone 
and the brilliance of thought took its place. He 
himself felt it very acutely as I see it now, he 
betook to solitudes again and again to recover. 
Here did happen, what he himself, by his critical 
readings of the Bible, thought had happened for 
some days in the life of Christ himself. At 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Vashishtha Ashram, he sent away his disciple 
Swami Narayan and Hved in utter soHtude, his 
kitchen also was about two miles away from 
himself. He tried all those methods that he used to 
emphasise, but the inspiration had almost spent 
itself in efforts to do something. The people of the 
Tilak school influenced his work towards politics 
and there was he exhausted! His resorting to the 
Darjeeling forests was also in this struggle but after 
his return from the Darjeeling forests, when he met 
me, he said: "Rama had gone into deep and high 
Yogic Samadhi, and there in the Nirsankalpa 
Samadhi came the Sankalpa - 'Let India be free — 
India shall be free' All political workers will work 
as mere tools of Rama, they are my hands and feet, 
Rama is the back-ground." However interesting 
this Sankalpa of Swami Rama, yet it tells plainly 
how much less had he become from what he was, 
after his return from America. Even in Samadhi, he 
thought of India. It was not so when I met him in 
Japan, Impressionable as he was, on the whole, a 
Faqir was lost in a spiritual-minded patriot, an 
ecstatic life was exhausted in thoughts of 
preaching his ecstasy and through ecstasy the 
politics of India to the world. As he was unworldly 
by temperament and by inspiration, certainly he 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

was the last person to be used as a tool for petty 
political ends. 

He told me once: "Rama did not like to stray out 
into any other subject, for it ill became him. But Mr. 
V. G. Joshi of Poona who acted as his secretary, at 
San Francisco, for some time, goaded Rama to do 
something for India. "Thus did he give me a little 
bit of his mind, how the Tilak school of thought 
enlistel him. His ''Appeal to Americans" and his 
adding India to his programme of work in America 
is the weakest thing he ever attempted, it was an 
after thought and certainly not his own. When the 
Americans wished him to lead the organization in 
America in aid of the Indian students, he again 
washed his hands clean by refusing to take up the 
working of the financial side, refusing to touch any 
gold, and the scheme had to fall through; for how 
could Americans continue any living interest in his 
scheme for long, without him. 

His keen disappointment at Benares when Pundits 
told him that he knew no Sanskrit, and his taking 
to the study of Sanskrit at that late hour of the day, 
was a symptom of this self-exhaustion. Because a 
mere glance askance from him would have surely 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

disconcerted the 'dead' Pundits and scholars of a 
hundred Benareses if he had been the ecstasy- 
filled monk as I saw him at Tokyo. But one word 
from these Pundits of Benares killed him, this is 
sufficient to show the self-loss he had suffered by 
preaching his own personal ecstasy to the world 
around. The world is "dead" to the life of the spirit, 
and the living ones come and touch it, revive a few, 
but in exchange die themselves. Even 
Shankaracharya had to pay for his Digvijaya (the 
victory) over this world full of dead carcasses. 

"Who has touched me, my power is gone," the 
powerful Christ too had to say. This is inexorable 
truth, and they who live in God know this to their 

Swami Rama in his talks gave us long accounts of 
how God-consciousness is subject to rise and fall, 
and Christ was his famous example. Of all persons, 
he as an accomplished mathematician and a faqir, 
ought to have known and I now believe that he did 
know, what self-exhaustion of his own God- 
consciousness meant. 

Swami Rama made frantic efforts to regain himself, 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

but it seems, the philosopher in him overpowered 
the faqir in him, and he died searching for the rose 
that had just perfumed him so wildly. It is a pity, 
he knew no living faqir of God-consciousness 
greater than himself, but there were saints who 
could help him subjectively, only if he had the 
chance of meeting them, or a wish of 
acknowledging their spiritual help. 

All those who went to him in his last solitudes 
were young men like myself, understanding little 
about the rise and fall of the self -consciousness of a 
faqir, — a mystic — who were mostly led away by 
him into a dumb adoration, doing what he asked 
us to do and chanting without much 
understanding "I am God" " I am God" — 
Shivoham! Shivokam — and who were of no use to 
him whatever in rejuvenating him. Swami 
Narayan, his disciple, knew him as a man too, and 
he would actually take courage to argue with him, 
that his physical ailments were at the bottom of 
his depression, and he would actually "tease" him 
by his persistent logic in those days at Vashishtha 
Ashram. Neither to him, nor to me, could he 
disclose his inner struggle. But a devoted disciple 
and a life-long companion like Narayan knew 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

better, and did, at times, go against him, and 
criticise him even harshly, out of his torn He felt 
teased as a flower might feel annoyed by the hum 
of the bee around it. I myself saw Narayan almost 
taunting Swami Rama when he suddenly 
postponed his going to Poali Kanta, when he, 
Swami Narayan, myself and others had actually 
resolved to go up to Buddha Kedar glaciers. This 
would never have been possible in the earlier days. 
I am also a witness of their talk at Tokyo when 
Swami Rama apparently, heartlessly asked him to 
leave him and go touring in the world by himself. 
No entreaties of mine to take Swami Narayan with 
him to America were of any avail. Great was the 
disappointment of Swami Narayan, but he 
accepted the orders as those of God and bowed 
and kissed and left him. The apparent difference 
between him and Swami Narayan was due to the 
latter's keen, though unconscious disappointment 
in love, seeing his physical health giving way. It 
was love's excess anxiety which led to bitterness. 

I might say here that the life-long devotion of 
Swami Narayan to Swami Rama, his preparedness 
if need be to lose his very life for Swami Rama, is 
an achievement by itself, and its continuousness 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

and consistency is enough to make of it almost a 
religion of Swami Narayan, but there is no denying 
the fact that Swami Narayan with fresh knowledge 
of a new system of medicine did not spare Swami 
Rama at Vashishtha Ashram, when he argued that 
the former confused his physical ailment of chronic 
dyspepsia with the divine absorption. Swami 
Narayan was correct in his diagnosis, that Swami 
Rama was not physically up to the mark, but this 
itself was due to the loss of the old inner ecstasy. 
What we, mere boys, thought to be the height of 
God-absorption, was after all the lassitude of the 
spirit due to physical ailments which Swami 
Narayan attended to and wished to cure, but he 
was rendered helpless, as Swami Rama would 
order him to live fifteen miles away from him and 
come only when called. 

Alas I it is a pity that he had no friend of his spirit, 
who could prop up his God-consciousness when 
he felt exhausted, and we, of course, could not 
command his confidence, for of what use were we 
all to him? 

In conclusion, I must say that the short meteoric 
life of Swami Rama — of only thirty-three summers- 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

is again a tragic tale of the sufferings of the great 
when they take upon themselves the task of lifting 
up the world, the dead world by actual exchange 
of their bliss with its sorrow and suffering. It is the 
tale of one more Gratification for the good of the 
world. A thousand Tilaks and Gandhis work for 
the world, and feel still greater joy in doing more, 
because there does not take place between them 
and the world the great exchange which made 
even Christ cry out— ''Who has touched me?". 
Such people are not Spiritual in the sense in which 
Christ and Chaitanya were, they are not yet Faqirs 
with divine Avesh, they are not yet in direct line 
and touch with the prophets of the world! 
Otherwise, one lecture ought to be enough to keep 
them indoors on bed for at least a fortnight. For 
living man to come out to save humanity means 
crucifixion, not so much physical and mental, as 
spiritual, it may mean the complete death if he has 
not the powerful hands in the Invisible to lift him 
up. The torch which Swami Rama took up in his 
hand was extinguished long before its actual and 
apparent extinction in the waters of the Billing 
Ganga where he was drowned! As he used to say, 
such great beings of the inspiration of ecstasy in 
them, should sit calm in themselves. Their very 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

presence uplifts the world, they need no doing. 
They need but living, but burning, but being, but 
breathing the Breath of God. Otherwise, there is 
suffering for them, for no one can heal a sick 
person, without taking his sickness upon himself, 
Swami Rama died the death of Joan of Arc. It was a 
saint crucified for the sake of his great missionary 
zeal. Whether it was self-inflicted, or whether he 
was goaded to it by others, it is very pathetic, that 
he failed to find a society of living faqirs with 
whom he could share the depression he collected 
by contact with the world. For such as he, the 
subjective atmosphere of God-consciousness is as 
essential as water for fish. He died having cut 
himself from the Sat Sang of his own levels, 
otherwise men like him burn with eternal youth 
even in old age! 


Swami Rama stands out of the whole educated 
India, as one man who dared so much to win God 
and won Him, who entered life as a conqueror 
enters a conquered city, who trampled in dust 
under his feet the lower self, and identified himself 
with God, and who, in his own life, proved that 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Brahma Vidya when self-reaHsed leads to freedom, 
that the solution of all the world-problems lies in 
every one of us attaining to the grand heights of 
Self-Realisation. That a short slender Brahman boy 
of the Punjab, in these days, before our very eyes, 
demonstrated in his personality, the great type of 
men that wrote the Upanishads and sang Vedic 
hymns, is truly a miracle of devotion, self- 
conquest, and a marvel of will-power developed 
by intense emotion and hard mental labour. 

His life is full of many lessons. He comes to the 
student as the type of a student— better buy books 
and the oil for thy midnight lamp, than an extra 
loaf of bread, or an extra shirt to wear. Success is 
not so joy-giving as the struggle to succeed. To 
pass examinations is not the real object, the real 
object of a student is to put in hard labour in 
planting well the garden of his mind, his labour to 
be harder than that of a farmer, a miner, a poor 
common labourer. Such is the life of a true student. 
There is no sense-enjoyment for him but that which 
comes to him after working the whole night on a 
problem of mathematics. He can never do enough. 
Sleep too is an intruder, time is too short and there 
is much to do! 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

All his life, he was a student. Man has to be a 
student and a pupil all his life. 

To the dutiful son, he conies as a dutiful son. 
Forego your own comforts and offer all of them to 
your parents, how can they be angry? Parents too 
need from you total self-sacrifice. Give all theirs 
back to them and give all what is God's to Him. 

To the disciple, he comes as a disciple. His letters 
written in his student days have a continuousness 
of the disciple's emotion that forms the major 
portion of his culture. He never forgets kindness, 
this too is like the disciple. At Sialkot, he borrows 
ten rupees from a man, and he feels he can never 
repay it, and he shows his inability to repay his 
kindness adequately by offering many instalments 
of the same ten rupees over and over again to him. 
It seems Swami Rama, in the burst of his 
inspiration, forgot that, as he was a student all his 
life, he had to be a disciple too all his life, and it is 
there that he missed the pleasure of meeting the 
mystics of an equally great life. 

To the teacher, he comes as a teacher full of 
affection for his student. He takes his pupil as his 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

God Krishna. He teaches him with reverence, with 
apologies. He knows his God knows everything, it 
is His pleasure that He has asked him to teach. His 
reverence for the child of man is infinite. He calls 
him God. That thou art, Tatvamasi. 

To the citizens, he comes as a citizen. And he has 
only one thing to say "Raise yourself, elevate 
yourself, be free by attaining to your inner 
manhood, give up the cringing attitude of the 
ignorant slaves, be the master of yourself, stand on 
your infinite self-respect, be fearless, be full of love: 

"He prayeth best, who loveth best 
All things both great and small" 

He raises a transcendental conception of civic duty 
before his fellowmen. "The Secret of Success" was 
an address which he was fond of repeating 
everywhere in his scheme of making good citizens 
in this world. And to the enslaved Indians, apart 
from his visions and reveries, he is an example, 
how a poor Punjabi student can educate himself 
against odds, inner and outer and raise the 
reputation of his country m the estimation of the 
world by striking the world with his self-less 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

character, with its radiance of a strange vitaHty and 
power, and with its fragrance of an Ill-embracing 
love that made such a man as he, a welcome guest 
in all homes. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

APPENDIX - Opinions of the American Press 

[The Oregonian, Sunday, December 2, 1906, written by W. H. Gahrani.] 


PORTLAND, Dec. 1. — About three years ago there 
came to this city a young Hindoo monk, whose 
name and fame was known all over the Land of the 
Vedas. Swami Ram Tirath, on his arrival here, had 
not as yet completed his 27th year, and, in order to 
go abroad to plead the cause of ancient India, he 
gave up the position of professor of mathematics in 
the government university at Punjab, which he had 
held for a number of years. 

As a Sannyasi patriot of unsurpassable 
renunciation, the young high priest of India 
became convinced that there can be no change in 
the deplorable condition in the land of the Aryas 
unless the Brahmanical contrivance, known as the 
caste system, is forever swept away. To this end he 
devoted his life. Earnest, as he was brilliant, 
zealous as he was eloquent, Rama's work in the 
United States found many sincere sympathizers. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Indeed, he endeared himself to all who knew him, 
and among his many warm friends from the Pacific 
to the Atlantic may be found some of the best 
known educators, jurists, scientists, as well as men 
well known in the business world. 

After his tour through the United States Rama 
returned to India* where he settled for a few 
months in Darjeeling- district, and soon retired 
altogether into the in-accessible fastnesses of the 

It was on October 18 that Rama accidentally met 
his death by drowning in the Ganges, State of 
Garhwal, or Tehri. TheLucknow Advocate of 
October 21 and 28, just received, as well as private 
letters, give some details of Rama's death. He was 
evidently in a state of "samadhi," or profound 
religious meditation, while bathing in the sacred 
river of ancient India, when he found himself in a 
violent current of the stream, with which he was 
unable to cope. His body was recovered on Friday 
afternoon, Octo~'ber 19, when the Vedic funeral 
ceremony was performed-the courts having closed 
for the day, and the entire province in mourning. 
''Swami Ram Tirath's death", says the Lucknow 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Advocate, "is a great loss not only to the cause of 
Vedanta, but to the cause of general progress of the 
country, and it is surely difficult to find another 
selfless Sannyasi - to take his place and to carry out 
the work of his life. The loss of Swami Ram Tirath 
is a national loss." 

Here in Portland the Mends of the late Hindoo 
reformer and philosopher will meet tomorrow 
evening at 8 o'clock at the residence of Mrs. O.N. 
Denny, 375 Sixteenth Street, corner of 
Montgomery, where a brief memorial service will 
be held. All members of the Swami Ram Society 
and friends of Rama are requested to attend. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

[From a Minneapolis Paper— Minneapolis Tribune] 






'TN India we have no such spectacles as this", 
remarked Swami Ram, the noted high caste Hindu, 
at the university this morning as he indicated the 
audience which was composed nearly half of girls. 
The Swami, who is visiting in this country to 
secure aid in promoting a plan for the redemption 
of the ignorant masses of India, spoke to the 
university students who crowded chapel hall to 
hear him. He painted a stirring picture of the 
destitute condition of India. 

"The people," he said, "are dying every year by the 
millions. It is the ultimate result of their own 
ignorance and superstition. The caste system is at 
the bottom of much of the trouble. The lower caste 
cannot tread the same highways as the upper class. 
They are not admitted to the universities. Even the 
upper class is not well off. A college graduate 
receives $20 a month or less, and is then expected 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

to support his family of from twenty to forty 

"The American missionaries are doing a great 
work, but they are strangers in a strange land. The 
high caste classes will have nothing to do with 
them. They cannot reach the women nor the 
children. All they can help is a few of the lower 
classes. The British government is doing all it can 
to enlighten the people, but it cannot destroy the 
caste system nor effectively raise the women from 
abject slavery. 

"All reforms come from within. My plan for the 
freedom of the people of India is something like 
the Japanese plan of half a century ago. The young 
men of Japan came to American colleges. They 
learned here and went back to teach their people 
American ingenuity, vigor, ability and the spirit of 
equality. The country has had a marvellous 
development since then. 

"The Japanese were handicapped more than the 
Hindus would be. They did not know English, 
while every college boy in India is fairly well 
acquainted with the language. The Indian boys are 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

all right in heart and mind, but they lack hand 
culture. They are superstition ridden. 

"A little help from America would change this. If 
they could come here they would breathe the spirit 
of earnestness and energy. They would acquire the 
helpful arts and would go back as the most 
inspired missionaries to teach their own people." 

The Swami has already outlined his plan in many 
universities and colleges throughout the United 
States and met with fair success. Several societies 
have been formed for the purpose of aiding the 
work, and a number of scholarships have already 
been formed for the benefit of Indian students. A 
committee in India is to pick out the most 
deserving students who are too poor to come to 
America alone, and it is to aid these that the Swami 
is working. 

He will address a meeting at the university chapel 
next Tuesday afternoon at 4 o'clock. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

[From an American Paper] 



AN audience which taxed the capacity of the 
Unitarian Church gathered yesterday morning to 
hear Swami Ram, the poet-philosopher of India, 
lecture on "Expansion of Self". The Swami's idea 
and lines of thought were put in such a simple and 
forceful style that he commanded the closest 
attention and deep interest. To illustrate the 
expansion of self, the Swami commenced by 
drawing four circles, one within the other, having a 
common horizontal tangent at the top. These 
circles were shown to represent the four grades of 
moral and religious life, viz., mineral, plant, 
animal, man and God-life in human form. Self- 
centred, sensuous people were pathetically shown 
to be no more than minerals in human form. 
Rather humorously Nero, Tiberius and other 
Caesars were represented as precious minerals, but 
not men, their life and activity being comparable 
only to the moving equilibrium or dead motion of 
a spindle. People of a wider circle of love, 
embracing their families, centering all their 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

activities in domestic life, were proved to be plant- 
men -in human form. They might be flowers, fruit, 
trees, oaks and cedars in the form of man, but to 
the dignity of man they could not lay a valid claim. 
Yet their existence was proved to be just as 
necessary in the economy of nature as that of 
plants in the physical world. 

Next the animals in the human garb were treated, 
who have expanded their self and identified 
themselves with the sect, creed or community 
which they represent. Their circle includes many 
small circles of the first and second kind. But it was 
pointed out that just as a husk may be useful for 
the development of the seed for a time, after a 
period it becomes the choking prison to the seed, 
so sectarianism is all right in so far as it helps our 
growth, but becomes a destructive element when it 
shuts out the broad light outside its walls. 

Man-life in the human dress was dwelt upon. 
People whose orbit of activity focusses round the 
good of the whole nation, whose self has expanded 
into the self of the country, without regard to class, 
color or creed, were represented as real men in the 
body of man. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Lastly, the God-man was depicted, whose self has 
expanded into the self of the world, and from 
whom love flows toward each and all as naturally 
as light radiates from the sun. This is the Christ- 
man, the man of nations, the man of ages, the 
universal man. 

Swami Ram will he heard Is Temple Beth Israel on 
December 16 and next Friday afternoon will accept 
an invitation to address the Woman's Club. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

[The Denver Times, Monday Evening, January 21, 1907] 



THE body of the great Saomi Ram is no more. With 
Oriental ceremonies and services impressive and 
solemn, the body of the great Hindu who strived to 
wipe out caste has been consigned to the sacred 
Ganges river. The followers of the Oriental genius 
who live in Denver and the West have just learned 
of this tragedy, which took place October 17. Saomi 
Ram was a new thought teacher, and, while in 
Denver, in January, 1904, he was received in the 
churches and made several addresses here, finally 
winning many persons to his new creed and 
religion. In the eyes of his followers Saomi Ram is 
not dead; his body simply has ceased to exist. 

Mrs. Florence J. Kramer of Denver was among 
those who found much wisdom and justice in the 
teachings of Saomi Ram, and she has just received 
a letter from Editor Puran of the official organ of 
the cult. Thundering Dawn, published in Japan, 
which merely mentions the passing of Saomi Ram. 
Editor Puran is writing a book about the leader, 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

and wants the clippings of newspaper stories 
written about him when he was a visitor in 
Denver, hence his letter to Mrs. Kramer. 

In the passing of Saomi Ram India loses one of its 
greatest benefactors, for he was putting forth all his 
energies to abolish caste, which he said, was the 
curse of India. 

"Educate twenty young Hindu men in your great 
American universities and they can break up the 
caste system in India," he said while in Denver. He 
wrote for magazines and newspapers and wrote 
many books, for Saomi Ram was well versed in the 
English language, and literary people will receive 
news of his death with sorrow. His following in the 
West has grown to large proportions, too. 

"The Common Path" is what he called the new 
religion, and its object was to regulate the conduct 
of the present life, like this. 

To minimize the waste of energy. 
To abolish wear and tear of the body and mind. 
To obtain freedom from dissipation, due to envy, 
vanity, distemper and the blues. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

His was the religion of nature. 

"Did you ever hear of rivers which were Hindus' 
and not Christians'? So do I make no distinction of 
class, color or creed in greeting as my co- 
religionists the rays of the sun, the beams of the 
stars, the leaves of the trees, the blades of grass, the 
grains of sand and the hearts of tigers, elephants, 
lambs, ants, men, women and children," said 
Saomi Ram while expounding his new thought in 
Denver. "My religion is the religion without a 
nickname. It is the religion of nature." 

While in Denver Saomi Ram established classes for 
the study of his religion and acquired a large 
following, which is greatly shocked at the news 
that "his body is no more". 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

[From an American Paper.] 



SWAMI RAM, the Indian philosopher, who has 
delighted several Portland audiences during the 
last week by his religious teachings, has decided to 
give everyone interested an opportunity to become 
further acquainted with his philosophy by giving a 
course of six classes. A preliminary meeting will be 
held today at which the dates will be arranged. The 
classes will be held at the house of Mrs. ON Denny, 
at 375 Sixteenth Street, and the general subject will 
be "Regeneration is the Realization of God". The 
following six ways of coming to this realization 
will be explained, in the lessons: through action, 
love, knowledge or law, fearlessness, purity and 
yoga, an Indian term for which the nearest English 
equivalent is contemplation or concentration. 

Next Sunday Swami Ram will occupy the pulpit in 
the Unitarian Church. On that occasion he will 
speak on ''Expansion of Self. The ministers of 
Portland have treated Swami Ram with courtesy 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

and he is anxious to show his appreciation. 
He has had several pleasant experiences since he 
has been here, not the least of which was his 
reception by the Bishop Scott boys, before whom 
he lectured yesterday. They applauded him again 
and again, and when their principal told them that 
Swami Ram and he were born in the same part of 
India, they gave him the school-yell as a particular 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

Judge Chas. B. Bellinger, President Mrs O. N. Denny, 2d V. President 

Judge L. R. Webster, 1st V. President O. Going, Treasurer 

William H. Galvani, Secretary 

(©regon ^ocietp for t|ie emancipation of intiia 
from Casfte ^laberj* 

Membership Open to All Secretary's Address 

Annual Dues One Dollar The Oregonian Building 

No Assessments Portland, Oregon 

THE object of the Society is fully explained in its 
name. It is Inter-national and Non-Sectarian. It 
recognizes the fact that in this Twentieth Century 
there exists an untold number of people who are, 
to all intents and purposes, slaves; and that they 
live in their bondage of ignorance right under the 
shadow of modern civilization. That these people, 
descendants of a race which led in Ancient 
Wisdom and Enlightenment, should be brought 
back to something of the pristine glory of their 
ancestors by EDUCATION, and this blot of their 
subjugation be removed from our civilization, are 
the objects of the society. 

To all who have the common cause of humanity at 
heart, we appeal for co-operation and assistance. 


The Story Of Swami Rama 

EDUCATION is our aim, and we believe that by 
imparting practical knowledge, under the spirit of 
our free institutions, to the young men and women 
of India, we secure them Emancipation. 

Our plan of work is simple: We wish to enlist 
members from all parts of the state, who will unite 
with us in establishing and maintaining 
scholarships for the fittest young men and women, 
selected or approved by the general committee of 
that country; and also to co-operate with similar 
societies working for the cause of India. 


The Story Of Swami Rama